A rectovaginal fistula is a medical condition where there is a fistula or abnormal connection between the rectum and the vagina.
Rectovaginal fistula may be extremely debilitating. If the opening between the rectum and vagina is wide it will allow both flatulence and feces to escape through the vagina, leading to fecal incontinence. There is an association with recurrent urinary and vaginal infections.
Rectovaginal fistulae are often the result of trauma during childbirth (in which case it is known as obstetric fistula) and in situations where there is inadequate health care, such as in some developing countries.
Rectovaginal fistulae can also be a symptom of various diseases, including infection by Lymphogranuloma venereum, or the unintended result of surgery, such as episiotomy. They may present as a complication of vaginal surgery, including vaginal hysterectomy.