Cloaca Anomaly

Also known as: cloaca, cloacal anomalies, cloacal malformation, cloacal abnormalities.

What is a cloaca anomaly?

It is a major malformation of the intestinal genital and urinary tracts in females. During development in the uterus, these structures do not divide properly resulting in the rectum, bladder and vagina all ending in a solitary channel which exits through a single opening orifice on the baby’s bottom (perineum).

What are the symptoms of cloaca?

These girls have only one orifice in the perineum, and if left untreated, this condition can lead to problems with urination and defecation, intestinal blockage or perforation, abdominal cysts, and urinary tract infections. Later in life, sexual function may be compromised.

What are persistent cloaca care options?

Cloaca anomalies are treated with a colostomy in infancy, followed by careful assessment and reconstruction, through the combined services of expert radiologists, pediatric surgeons and urologists. These complex surgeries are best done with the help of a multidisciplinary team such as the one available at the Nicklaus Children’s Colorectal Center.


Reviewed by: Juan L Calisto, MD

This page was last updated on: September 09, 2020 11:19 AM

Patient Success Stories

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Close your eyes and picture a fun-loving toddler learning a new language, singing songs, and exploring her environment – eager to learn about the world around her and everything it has to offer.
That’s Mayra, a two-year-old girl who was born with a very rare case of cloacal malformation, a developmental disorder that affects nearly one in every 50,000 babies. Mayra’s life was at risk due to impending renal failure and time was running out.

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