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Fistulas and tests to find them

Is a rectovaginal fistula a possible effect from having Crohn's for a long time? I never was diagnosed properly for my digestive problems so I don't know what caused this fistula.

I have had vaginal sonograms and a colonoscopy in Sept. The awful doctor was very apathetic and said he couldn't find the fistula, could do nothing for me and made no referral. When I started crying, he did a barium enema and said that he found nothing in that either. Now I have another doctor who wants to do another colonoscopy this month and a CT scan. What can they look at in the CT scan? As far as the colonoscopy goes, I am so afraid of hearing one more person tell me there is nothing wrong.

I am stuck in my home like a prisoner - and I wear adult diapers.


Super Moderator
Hi helpneeded, unfortunately not a lot of us in the Undiagnosed Club know much about fistulas. I am going to move this thread into the Fistulas & Abscesses forum as you will probably get better answers in there.


Hi helpneeded, and firstly :hug:.

Certain of us have what I've heard referred to as fistulizing Crohn's. While I do think fistulas happen for other reasons on occasion, I think it happens more often in Crohn's patients. I'm not a doctor - just a patient who had a fistula and abscess last year. I wanted to be sure to reply to your questions here as best I can.

You mentioned that you were never really properly diagnosed for digestive problems. Does that mean you have been dx'd for Crohn's, or you don't have an IBD diagnosis, but you have unexplained symptoms? As far as I know, this will be key, as some of the treatments for non-Crohnies have low success rates for patients with IBD and will likely be an important consideration for your doctor.

Regarding your testing question, I've had four types of exams where they could see fistulas: CT scan with contrast (most often and most effective in my case), MRI scan with contrast, EUA or Exam Under Anesthesia (seton placed), and colonoscopy (least effective in my case; just a "yep, there it is" kind of analysis. I would guess that the CT scan with contrast will show your doctor the best results. I'm glad to hear it's scheduled and coming up soon.

I hope you get the relief, test results, info, and treatment you need soon! :hug:
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