Obstructive uropathy and vesicovaginal fistula secondary to a retained sex toy in the vagina

J Sex Med. 2014 Oct;11(10):2595-600. doi: 10.1111/jsm.12575. Epub 2014 Jun 12.


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.

Keywords: Acute Kidney Injury; Foreign Bodies; Renal Insufficiency; Sex Toy; Urinary Fistula; Vaginal Fistula; Vesicovaginal Fistula.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cystoscopy / methods
  • Female
  • Foreign Bodies / complications*
  • Humans
  • Recurrence
  • Replantation / methods
  • Ureter / pathology
  • Urethral Diseases / etiology*
  • Urinary Diversion / methods
  • Urinary Fistula / etiology*
  • Urinary Fistula / surgery
  • Vesicovaginal Fistula / etiology*
  • Vesicovaginal Fistula / surgery