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Recto-vaginal fistulas thread.

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Hello to all, first I want to say Thank You for whoever started this site.. Here is my story...

I gave birth to my beautiful daughter on Nov. 9th. I was indueced with pitocin due to very high blood presure. I also had an epsiotmy,and the OB had to use a vacume to assist.. I have NO idea what type of epsiotmy,and don't know if I tore, or how many sitches.. I asked and my OB didn't give me answers.. I noticed something wasn't right the day I left the hospital.. but didn't say anything until 1 week later cause I didn't know what to tell anyone.. I finally said something to my hubby that poo was passing through my vagina and gas also.. so I called my OB and explained the issue and he had me come in so he can check me and sure enough.. I was told I have RVF. He said I can't have repair until 3 mo post partum (is that true?) he also told me that its nothing to worry about (which pissed me off cause.. poo coming out my vagina is something to worry about) after seeing him.. it was getting worse..its to the point where I can't controll my bowls, I have to wear a pad NON STOP cause it leaks out as if I was on my period.. but its poo. I called my OB and he tells me that what I'm going through is normal for my issue. Well needless to say I say another dr. and explained to her what was going on and she refered me to a recto specialist.. THANK GOD! I have an apt on Dec 18th.. I'm nervous but can't wait to get something figured out.. Anyone who has had a repair.. how long was your recovery? I'm an army wife with a deployed hubby and I'm needing to know how fast the recovery is.. and if I'm going to be able to care for my daughter by myself. I'm sorry if this is everywhere.. I hope to hear back from ya'll soon.. I also hope that pervious posters have had the repair and are doing okay..

Thank You!


Hi Emmasmamma,
I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I think an RVF happens most often after giving birth so you're not alone. I had mine after a sphincteroplasty (repair of muscle around the anus). I had one surgery last year which involved a flap which didn't work and then had to wait 4 months for a visit with my next MD. He is hopeful but I may have to have another sphincteroplasty which I'm not looking forward to. For that I needed a good 2 months to recover but there were other complications. I think your MD will probably tell you what they want to try first and what that recovery is like. I think you may need help with your daughter, at least for the first week depending on what you have done. I'm waiting to have my next go round in January, the 26th. That'll be from the vaginal side and I'm taking at least 6 weeks off from work. Let us know how you're doing and what the plan is. Having stool come out of your vagina is indeed something to worry about. It's also physically irritating and keeps you from getting on with your life. I had an ostomy to encourage healing so that is what I am dealing with until my next surgery. Hang in there and good luck!



Hi, I just had ileostomy surgery for an rvf..less than two weeks ago--getting use to everything. just wanted to say hello and give my e-mail to anyone who wants to chat ****. Good luck ladies, this is awful, I posted awhile back and have been dealing with it for 15 mos. since the birth of my daughter.... B

**edited by moderator** **e-mails are not allowed**


How are you feeling after your surgery? are you on bed rest? My hubby is overseas so I was wondering how much help you need after surgery? My baby will be 10 to 12 wks old for surgery.. I hope you are doing well and you are starting to feel better!



I had the repair and the ileostomy done at the same healing time is over 6 weeks to lift my daughter who is 15 mos. My mom is living with us to help... What kind of surgery are you having?

Penny- I think mine may have failed--ughhhh.... as I had a bm both ways--did this happen when yours failed, as well? Is there any chance it may still work? Ugh...

Ladies, stay strong, much respect, B


Hi B,

Yes, I'm afraid as far as I know when you have anything come through the vagina that doesn't normally it's a sign the fistula has not been fixed. With me it was the fluid that they had injected for a barium xray. It took months to expel rectally and the week before my reversal was scheduled the remainder poured through my vaginal. I couldn't believe it. That was over 9 months ago now. I questioned myself that maybe i made a mistake but I could feel the difference in my vagina. Then i though maybe i should lie just to get rid of the ostomy but that wasn't logical thinking. I'm sorry if indeed yours failed. All that effort, pain and recovery. Don't give up though. Remember you're not alone. I'm due for surgery January 26th. What type of repair did you have done? Hang in there!
Penny 70


Penny, I had a vaginal approach--3 layers...

ugh, I am very sad that mine is a flop....please tell me that this isn't permanent!

how many surgeries have you had? How big is your fistula?

I am glad to hear that you are going back in January...I will be crossing my fingers for you.

Did you get use to the ostomy--did things get better? B


Hi B,
The one surgery I had was a rectal flap. I'm going in, I think, to have what you had-muliple layers being stitched row by row. The MD said he had 100% success (with a pause so I think at least one of the successes wasn't 100%). I don't know whether anything can happen to the area over time to make it 'work'. When will you see your MD next? That would be good to ask. I'm surprised you had a discharge after the ileostomy. Maybe that means you had something left in your vagina that just came out? I'm just guessing so I would definietly talk to the MD before you decide it was a flop.
I don't think mine is very big, at one time they thought it was gone but it came back.
Thank you for your thoughts. I've been feeling very negative lately. Work, weight and surgery are all on my mind. Time to stay in the moment.
It took me a good while to get use to the ostomy. I think at first i was in denial. The wound care nurse I had wasn't that knowledgeable about ostomies, then I had to get a different kind. Sleeping with it and emptying it was also a challenge. I'm still confused sometimes when it comes to activities. There's a really great ostomy site I can tell you about if your'e interested. How is it going? Things are better now. There are a few tricks that help and just experience with it makes it better.


Penny, ostomyland is amazing...I have been using that. I just met my new et nurse, she is good. She mentioned that it still may work...but did not take a look, as she did have the op. notes and did not want to poke around... so, I guess it is just a waiting game...everyone is so different....
my fistula is very low....and like I said big, I would totally go back in time if I could and just lived with the fistula before my first and learn...hopefully there will be a good outcome, as I hate the ostomy. at least it builds character...

I did tell you I have a loop ileo, so some fecal matter may bypass....



I agree on all counts. I would have so been willing to try any and all alternatives before agreeing to my sphincteroplasty. But we have to look forward. I'm hoping I don't have to have another one but something more minor. The MD won't know til he's doing the surgery.
I'm not aware that fecal matter can bypass with a loop ileo. Did your MD say that? That's what I have, too.
There's theory out there that any change in our bodies resulting in a loss of a body function makes a significant impact on us emotionally. I've certainly found that to be true. I'm sure it's easier for some. And character building it is!! Penny


Penny, I will be seeing my dr.'s nurse in the am. I hope to get some good news and more information. I really want to be ok. Maybe the layer approach will work for you... I will let you know what I find out, so it may help you, as well. I will also let you know about the ileostomy and fecal matter bypassing; it may have been left from before the surgery... I am not sure.

Do you work with the ileo? B


Yes, I have an ileo, too. The MD told me I was going to have a colostomy but when I woke up there was the ileo. It's more fussy than a colo. If you graze like I do I have to empty it fairly often. I have appointments at work and find myself running to the bathroom between clients but so far it's worked out. At first I had to deal with some scary leaking that happened while I was out. That was the worst. Had to run home to repair things. But I finally got fitted with the right kind. I was only going to have it for a couple of months but then the fistula was found, I changed doctors and it's been a waiting game for most of the 1 year plus I've been trying to get it fixed. I feel pretty much like a pro about it now. My hubby helps, too.
Good luck to you today. I wish you good news.


my baby girl is now almost 4 months old, as she was 4 weeks old, i noticed that there was air coming out of my vagina, a lot. then i did some kegel exercise, it did get better for a little while, but then there was always air coming out from time to time, and this time i could feel that it wasn't from the deeper part of the vagina any more, it was just from somewhere under perineum.

weeks i had watery discharge, then i went to see my GYN, he removed some tiny foreign tissue inside my vagina. one week after that i fould some drainage from under the perineum, which is weird, cause my GYN checked the episiotomy there and he said it's intact, and it doesn't make any sense that some watery stuff might come through it. like whenever after urination, after i clean up the perineum area without pushing it, i use the tissue to push up against the perineum, i always find the tissue wet.

besides i had the first sex 12 weeks after the child birth, hours after the intercourse i found several drops of blood draining out of the episiotomy(perineum), it was fresh blood but then that was it.

lately i begin to feel air coming out of my vagina almost everytime after i pass gas, so i think this is where i'm 100 percent certain that i have the RVF. i'm sure that it's a small one for the time being, and it's very low, cause i can even feel the air flow right beneath the perineum outer skin.

i want to ask you all, what shall i do? because it's so small that my GYN couldn't feel it by his finger so he sort of insisted that i was worrying too much and i should give it time. but my concern is that if i didn't have it fixed now the bacteria inside the fistula might fester and make the fistula bigger and then it might be too late to fix it.

thank you all! i'm very worried since i looked through this website and almost nobody is out of the wood once she is in.
this is really not sth women should suffer from after giving birth to their offsprings, i really don't understand why we get so less help.

bless us all!


seeing how impossible it is to get cured, seeing how it's gonna develope if i didn't get it fixed, seeing how risktaking it is if i want to have it fixed, cause all the non-invasive ways like surgisis plug won't work out, and cause the invasive ways won't work out either, i'm really feeling miserable.

i even thought about killing myself last night, i know that i'm being weak, and i know that i shouldn't leave my husband and my lovely 4 months old daughter and my parents like that, but it's emotionally really hard to handle.

however much i curse on the OB/GYN who delivered my baby girl, i know that i'm the one who has to suffer which sucks!!!

what shall i do?