This Woman Had Feces Leaking Into Her Bladder—and Yes, It’s as Gross as It Sounds

When feces comes to our health, there can be some unpleasant topics to discuss. The more you know about the human body, however, the better off you will be for spotting unusual symptoms. For instance, an elderly woman complained to her doctor about finding “gassy bubbles” in her urine. The diagnosis was bizarre but true, and feces were actually leaking into her bladder. It sounds impossible, but it can happen.

This Woman Had Feces Leaking Into Her Bladder—and Yes, It’s as Gross as It Sounds

The condition is called a fistula, an unusual hole that develops in the bowel or bladder or in between both organs. Think of a fistula as a tunnel that should not be there. In an article by Health.com, the problem can start from a condition called diverticulitis. These multiple tiny pockets located in the bowels can often form while straining with constipation. The large intestine becomes inflamed. In this case, the 72-year-old patient had soft yellow feces leaking into the fluid of the urinary tract through a small hole.

Symptoms of the condition can include painful urination, a foul smell and/or a fever. It can also result in a severe urinary tract infection, said a report by the Health University of Utah. A urology specialist is the best kind of physician to diagnosis the fistula. A cystoscope is used to examine the inside of your bladder. The device features a lens attached to a special thin tube that is inserted into your urethra.

The scientific name for this condition is called a colovesical fistula. Although it’s a rare occurrence, it can still happen and become a frightening situation. It can be treated effectively by taking out the fistula and then suturing the urinary walls. Sometimes, part of the patient’s colon is removed. If you have developed an infection associated with the fistula, antibiotics or other medications may be prescribed. Recovery can take anywhere from four to six weeks. Post-treatment, you can expect to have a catheter on for a few weeks.

The elderly woman underwent successful surgery, and within two months, she had healed completely. She has not felt any recurring symptoms.

Leaking feces is unpleasant any way you think about it. To find its presence in your urine is unsettling. The condition usually affects men and women ages 55 to 75. The good news is that the condition is treatable through surgery. Urologists come across all types of fistulas and know how to diagnose them.