INTRODUCTION: Vaginal foreign bodies (FBs) are a rare cause of vesicovaginal, rectovaginal, or urethrovaginal fistulae.
AIM: The aim of this study was to describe a rare case of vesicovaginal fistula (VVF) and obstructive uropathy and to review the literature.
METHODS: A case is presented. A comprehensive review of the literature was performed (1948-2013).
RESULTS: A 38-year-old woman presenting with sepsis, obstructive uropathy, and severe emaciation was found to have a sex toy retained in her vagina for 10 years. This had caused a VVF and bilateral hydroureteronephrosis. Bilateral nephrostomies were inserted and she underwent cystoscopy and examination under anesthesia (EUA) with retrieval of FB. A left ureteric stricture was demonstrated. Transabdominal VVF repair with omental flap and left ureteric re-implantation was performed. The VVF recurred, which was successfully re-repaired transvaginally. Seventy-six full text articles were reviewed. There were no previously published cases of VVF following vaginal sex toy insertion. There are four cases of obstructive uropathy secondary to a vaginal FB in the literature: three pessaries and one plastic cap. There are 44 cases of VVF secondary to FB: 22 plastic caps (typically from aerosol bottles, inserted for masturbation or contraception) and 5 pessaries. At least nine were in girls aged ≤18 years. Average presentation is 15 months (range 2 months to 35 years) after FB insertion. Most cases were managed with surgical repair; predominantly transvaginal.
CONCLUSIONS: This case describes an extremely rare but potentially life-threatening case of obstructive uropathy caused by a chronically retained sex toy, and adds to the list of potentially rare causes of a VVF and obstructive uropathy. We advocate urinary diversion, staged removal of FB, upper urinary tract imaging, and EUA with VVF repair and/or ureteric reimplantation if required. Transvaginal is the preferred access for FB-associated VVF repair without concomitant ureteric reimplantation.
Bibliographical note© 2014 International Society for Sexual Medicine.
Thanks to Paul Manson for his assistance with the literature search. The authors have no funding to declare.
- vesicovaginal fistula
- urinary fistula
- vaginal fistula
- foreign bodies
- renal insufficiency
- acute kidney injury
- sex toy