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Fistula?


Fri, April 05, 2019 8:03 AM

I had a flare up of CD recently, and though I am not totally in remission, since that time I have had some ongoing symptoms that I am concerned about.  I hope no one minds me describing or discussing them here - if they do, please don't continue reading!

Warning - graphic discussion of symptoms starting.

First, I am a 57 yo women, post-total hysterectomy from 2000.  Diagnosed with CD in 2016.  On Humira for 8 months, not in complete remission.  Recent flare in last week to week and half - when the more severe diarrhea symptoms of CD subsided, I started having intermittent brownish/yellowish, somewhat clear to opaque vaginal discharge with lower abdomen cramping-type pain (reminding me of menstrual cramps but nothing there to be cramping).  When I experience an "episode" of discharge, it is occasionally accompanied by what feels like a quick, sharpish pain and gas through the vagina.  I have had no problems in the past, no abnormal exams, I haven't been on hormone replacement therapy for probably 12 years, and am not sexually active.  I've been tested for all STDs since my last sexual activity so I know it isn't an STD.  

Has anyone had similar symptoms, or had a rectal-vaginal fistula?

FPO crisanderson
Joined Apr 5, 2019

Thu, July 25, 2019 11:08 AM

Reply posted for crisanderson.

Hello, Cris:

I was diagnosed with Crohn's in 1989, but have been suffering since the age of 14. I am now turning 64 in September. I have never been in remission and I have tried most of the medications prescribed for Crohn's with little to no result. I'm currently on Stelara, which I have discontinued due to ineffectiveness. I am happy that some people are helped by these medications, as you are.

I am very familiar with what you're going through vaginally. I had a fistula "repaired" in 2001. If you've had children and an episiotomy, it is quite possible that you have a fistula. Your description fits what I went through with gas passing through the vagina. Nice, huh? 

Fistula's of this type are usually found around the outside edge of the connecting tissue between the vagina and rectum, the perineum. It took doctors two years to find the fistula because to actually find this type of fistula, you need a doctor who is familiar with them and Crohn's Disease. It requires a physical exam of the area (sorry), not MRI's, Barium Enema's, CT Scans, etc. 

If you have a gynecologist who is familiar with fistula's and patients who suffer from Crohn's, have that doctor do a thorough examination of the area. With a disease like ours, embarassment cannot be an issue.

I hope you find the answer to your problem soon. If you do, please post.

Best of luck!!!!

FPO Julia Katherine
Joined Jul 25, 2019

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