There are numerous conditions that can adversely affect the urinary tract, one of which is referred to as genitourinary fistula.
While this condition can sometimes develop in men, it mostly occurs in women. This abnormality can cause many complications if it's not treated early, which is why you should have a firm grasp of what genitourinary fistula is and what kinds of treatments are available to help with relief from the condition.
A genitourinary fistula is a common urinary condition among women that occurs when a hole develops between the genital and urinary structures. These two areas should not directly connect in the manner that occurs when a fistula develops. This condition is most common when the affected individual is also suffering from urinary incontinence.
The urinary tract is comprised of the urethra, bladder, and ureters, while the genital system consists of the vagina, uterus, and cervix. A fistula can occur in practically all of these locations, which include the bladder, the tubes that take urine out of your body, the tubes that are connected to your kidneys, and your reproductive organs like the cervix and uterus.
Causes of Genitourinary Fistula
There are a variety of things that can lead to genitourinary fistulas, which can include everything from trauma from childbirth to damage that occurred during a surgery in the area. Any kind of injury that has adversely affected your pelvic area could cause the development of a genitourinary fistula.
Some factors that might contribute to the creation of a fistula include serious infections to the pelvic region and issues that are brought about by radiation treatment.
If you're currently suffering from a fistula, it's possible that there might not be any symptoms that could help you determine if you're affected by this condition. In some cases, you might experience consistent discomfort in the abdomen. The presence of a genitourinary fistula can also cause a person to suffer from multiple urinary tract infections within a short period of time. A couple of additional symptoms that can occur with this condition include the leakage of urine from your vagina or vaginal odor.
Available Treatment Options
Once you've been diagnosed with a genitourinary fistula, you'll likely be provided with a recommendation of treatment options that you can choose from. In situations where the fistula is small and hasn't damaged much of the surrounding tissues, it's possible that certain non-surgical treatments may be used for this problem.
However, surgery is the most commonly used solution for genitourinary fistulas. The incisions placed with this type of surgery can occur through the lower abdomen or vagina. The fistula will be closed and any damaged tissues will be effectively repaired. If you suffer from a particularly large fistula, it's possible that a hole could be created in the stomach in order to assist with the healing of the original fistula. The small hole in your stomach will then be closed once the fistula has dissipated.