Female Reproductive System
As a baby develops, three (3) openings normally form for the intestinal, genital and urinary tracts. In early stages of pregnancy, these three openings join together in a sac called "Cloaca." They then separate from each other to form the anus, vagina and urethra. In rare cases, this area may develop incorrectly. A "persistent cloaca" may form if these tracts fail to undergo complete separation from each other. This is when the intestinal, genital, and urinary tracts open into one common cavity, with one opening.
This birth defect happens during pregnancy. It can affect 1 in every 50,000 babies. Not much is known about how to prevent it. Here we provide some basic information to help.