Pediatric Persistent cloaca

Pediatric Persistent cloaca

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Summary

Persistent cloaca is a birth defect in female babies in which the rectum, vagina and urinary tract connect into a single channel.

Expanded overview

In normal development, a female has three openings in the groin area: the urinary tract, the vagina and the rectum. Persistent cloaca occurs when the rectum, vagina and urinary tract connect into a common channel. The channel has a single opening, which is usually located at the normal site of the urethra (where urine exits the body).

Causes

Persistent cloaca occurs during fetal development and affects about one in every 50,000 babies.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of persistent cloaca include:

  • Abnormalities of the spinal cord
  • Clitoris that resembles a penis
  • Deformed limbs
  • Malformed or absent anus
  • Multiple vaginas and cervixes
  • Obstructed vagina that can lead to abdominal swelling
  • Persistent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Structural defects of the heart

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