05-13-2011, 02:40 AM   #1
Senior Member
lotte26's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Fistulas & vagina pain

Hey there girls,
I have had Several perianal fistulas and currently have a fistula at the base of my vagina. Do any of you get really bad irritation on the vagina/vulval skin? Mine frequently feels very stingy and like it is covered in paper cuts and I know it must be the stool coming from the fistula (I have NO idea why but I only figured this out recently. My GP thought it was a sde effect of humira!).

Would any of you suggest any topical treatments or barrier creams? Or even Vaseline? Just so the skin doesn't get so irritated? I clean VERY well down there too... Maybe that's causing the irritation? I just get so paranoid of it smelling and feeling gross tho!

I only have 1.5 weeks till they remove my fistula (and entire colon) so it's almost pointless, I just want use of my vagina before the op.. If you know what I mean



Crohn's disease since 2002, with multiple fistulae

25 May '11 : colostomy formed, 70cm bowel removed + 50cm ileum removed.

16 October 2015 - open parastomal hernia surgery to be performed

Past Failed Meds: Pentasa, azathioprine, methotrexate, Humira.

Current Meds: Humira, azathioprine, fluoxetine, Brevinor, Fish oil, melatonin
05-13-2011, 07:58 AM   #2
Senior Member
Cookie's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Hi Charlotte,

Sorry you are dealing with this. I have had vaginal fistulas too so I know exactly what you mean. For me the best thing was a warm bath. Also, I would clean with Oil of Olay facial cloths because they were soft and gentle on the skin. I also used a good bit of Calmoseptine topical cream (it came highly recommended by many on the forum for butt issues as well). It can be hard to find, but worth the hunt. I see you are in New Zealand? Maybe someone here can chime in about its availability there, but I think you can order it online. Very good stuff!
05-13-2011, 08:09 AM   #3
Lisa's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New York

My Support Groups:
Morning Charlotte.....I had the same type of fistula, and omg did it hurt, especially at first! ..... Keeping it clean without irritating too much is the tricky part! Oh - and the stool WILL burn!....

30 plus years and counting with UC/Crohn's!
on remicade since 11/05

While my experiences may not be what everyone has had- I feel it is worthwhile to share any and all experiences that may be beneficial to others.
05-13-2011, 01:52 PM   #4
Senior Member
25times's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: calgay, Alberta
That is absolutely terrible. I'm so sorry you're dealing with that. Although I'm sure I'll get one sooner or later, I have never had a fistula (that I know of.)

I do however, know alot about vaginas haha. I want to be a gynecologist, so I have studied std's and infections, as well as irritation and other problems. This may not be the best information in the case of fistulas, but it couldn't hurt to put it out there.
As you probably know, the vagina is self-cleansing. There is no need to wash with anything but a bit of warm water and maybe some mild soap. In your case, I would suggest frequent sitz baths. There must be something doctors would suggest to keep the area free from infection-causing bacteria. They tell you to wipe front to back for a reason! Poop shouldn't be there.
I think I would be doing the same thing as you in that situation. Over-cleansing and being paranoid about smells and gross feelings.
As for a soothing cream, it might be a really good idea to try an otc micanozale cream, like canesten or monistat. It will help prevent infection, as well as soothe any irritation, itching and burning. I use it all the time. It's meant for yeast infections, but it's used for tons of things. Ringworm, althletes foot, hemorroids, fissures.. It's great stuff. No prescription needed, either.
Feel better soon!
Officially in remission from crohns.
Rheumatoid arthitis
Ovarian tumor (getting removed!)
Possible multiple sclerosis diagnosis

Remicade (With Benadryl)
Tylenol 4
07-27-2011, 12:29 PM   #5
Join Date: Jul 2011
i have had many fistulas on and around my vagina also and i know what you mean about not feeling clean. during my last visit i was told that these fistulas are from a skin disease called hidradenitis! so on top of having crohns i now have a skin disease as well!! my dr told me that over cleaning is a very big no no, too much of anything can irriate the skin worse. shaving waxing were added to the do not do list. this skin disease effects areas bearing apocrine sweat glands or sebaceous glands such as the underarms, breasts, inner thighs (where one of mine is) groin (another one) and buttocks. i wish you the best of luck with your procedure and a fast recovery!!
08-03-2011, 07:14 AM   #6
Senior Member
sparkles's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011

My Support Groups:
Hi Charlotte! I'm sorry to hear about your fistulae, as I also have some in the same place! I didn't realise so many other Crohn's women did, so I guess that makes me feel slightly better
I know what you mean about feeling gross and dirty, but I am also still searching for a remedy. One thing that I can recommend, however, is Canesten cream. It's really useful
Good luck!
Diagnosed: December 2005, aged 12
Ileostomy Surgery: July 2008
Currently: 21 years old and on Humira, Omeprazol, Methatrexate, Folic Acid, Modulen IBD
08-03-2011, 10:46 AM   #7
New Member
Join Date: Jul 2011
Hey sorry to hear about your troubles! Crohn's meets no stranger I haven't experienced the fistulas but I have had issues with Bartholin gland cysts'. I started getting them around diagnosis and I get them about once a month to date. They normally come around my menstral which is also when my disease is at its worst! I have had numerous small operations on it but it never fails to return...
Diagnosed with Crohn's in 99/00
Been on: Remicade, Cipro, Pentasa
Currently on:
Prednisone (weaning) TRYING TO WEAN PART 2!
Resection in 2003

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