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What causes a bladder fistula?

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Cancers, gynaecological or urological surgeries, injury and inflammatory bowel diseases may cause bladder fistulas, according to the Urology Care Foundation. Radiation therapy may also cause bladder fistulas. Bladder fistulas to the skin are rare and are a result of blockage of the bladder outlet and bladder damage.

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Bladder fistulas to the bowel, or enterovesical fistula, may be due to inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease and diverticulitis, according to the Medical University of South Carolina. Bowel cancers are responsible for about 20 percent of this type of bladder fistula.

Bladder fistula to the vagina, or vesicovaginal fistula, may be due to gynaecological or urologic surgeries, explains the Medical University of South Carolina. Examples of surgeries that may cause vesicovaginal fistulas include hysterectomies, bladder repair and sling procedures to repair urinary incontinence, explains the University of Utah Health Care.

Gynaecological cancers may also cause bladder fistulas to the vagina, according to the Medical University of South Carolina. Radiation therapy may cause bladder fistulas to both the vagina and the bowel. Rarely do bladder diseases cause bladder fistulas.

A difficult birth may cause a vesicovaginal fistula, but this is rare in the United States and more common in developing countries, explains the University of Utah Health Care.

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