Diverticula are small pouches that can stick out from the wall of the gut
If they become inflamed, they can form a small abscess – a small collection of pus caused by body tissues breaking down surrounded by painful inflammation
If the abscess becomes attached to the bladder or vagina, it can cause a fistula – a passageway between two organs which are not normally connected. If poo passes into the wrong organ in the urinary tract, it can cause severe urinary tract infections. If the fistula is to the vagina, the patient passes wind and poo from the vagina
In mild diverticulitis this is usually cured with antibiotics and the patient avoids surgery. However once a fistula develops, this usually requires surgery