After some internet research, she was distraught to learn that she could possibly be having fistula. She immediately sought the opinion of a gynaecologist who, after examining her, ruled out the possibility of fistula.
“He told me that as long I was holding my urine and faeces well, then it could not be fistula. He said the stained discharge would go away on its own,” she remembers.
Yvonne returned home relieved, but this relief was short-lived as traces of stool in her discharge continued. Infact, the quantity of stool increased, leading her to invest in black panties to camouflage the discharge. A few weeks later, she was forced to begin putting on panty liners to help effectively absorb the discharge. This she continued doing for many more months.
She kept wondering if the doctor had made the right diagnosis, but because he was the expert, she let it be. She was a first time mom.
But two years after the birth of her son and hundreds of panty liners later, Yvonne’s anxiety was at it’s peak, as she had assumed that by that time, the discharge would have long disappeared. She feared that she did indeed have fistula. The more she thought about it, the more she panicked because fistula was such a shameful condition. No one would understand. All this time, she had never confided in anyone what she was going through.
“I was too ashamed and embarrassed. How could I be suffering from a condition like this, a condition where I leaked faeces? Who would understand? How could this be happening to me?” Yvonne, pharmaceutical technologist asked herself many times as she shed floods of tears.
As for her sex life, “I was lucky to be in a long distance relationship so my sex life was inactive and I liked it that way,” she remembers.
A few months later, when she couldn’t take it anymore, Yvonne decided to seek a second opinion. She consulted a different gynaecologist who discovered a small hole between her vagina and rectum. He diagnosed the condition as rectovaginal fistula.
Finally! A diagnosis! But it was bitter-sweet news for her. She was happy, but sad.