Chronic digestive illness, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), frequently affects the large intestine. It manifests in unpleasant ways, such as tummy aches and cramps, gas, diarrhea, constipation, or both.
Although IBS can affect everyone, women are 1.5–3 times as likely to be diagnosed with this condition as men.
Besides the intersection of symptoms in those men's experiences, some women claim that their IBS symptoms worsen at different times during their menstrual cycle. Look at these typical signs and symptoms experienced by women.
Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by constipation. It leads to stools that are dry, hard, and infrequent.
According to studies, constipation is one symptom of IBS that is more common among women. Women have reported constipation symptoms such as stomach pain and bloating more frequently.
Although men appear to be more susceptible to a greater risk for irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D), many women report the development of their illnesses in the weeks leading up to their periods.
Diarrhea is defined as experiencing three or more episodes of constipation each day, including lower abdominal discomfort and cramps that subside after passing stools. Mucus in the chair is another possible symptom.
Constant bloating is a common sign of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It can make you feel full sooner after eating, producing tightness in the upper abdomen. It's also a common premenstrual symptom.
It has been found that women who suffer from IBS are more likely to experience menstrual cycle-related bloating than women who do not. Endometriosis and other gynecological diseases can potentially exacerbate abdominal distention.
When they have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), women after menopause have more stomach swelling and distention than men.
4. Urinary Incontinence
Minimal Research According to a reliable source from 2010, females who suffer from IBS are more prone to problems with their lower urinary tract. The most typical signs were:
- Increased frequency of urination
- Higher level of urgency
- Nighttime urination phenomenon, or painful urination
- Urinary distress
5. Pelvic organ prolapse
According to research, women with irritable bowel syndrome are more likely to have prolapsed pelvic organs. That happens when the muscles and tissues that support the organs in the pelvis become weak or loose, letting the organs move out of place. Prolapse is more likely to occur when IBS causes chronic constipation and diarrhea.
A variety of pelvic organ prolapses exist, including:
- Prolapse of the uterus
- Prolapse of the uterus
- Rectal prolapse
- A lapse in the urethra
6. Chronic pelvic pain
Persistent pelvic discomfort, or pain below the belly button, is a significant worry among women with IBS. The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders talks about a study in which one-third of women with IBS said they had long-lasting pelvic pain.
7. Painful sex
Erectile problems and pain during interactions are well-documented IBS symptoms in women. The risk of experiencing pain during intercourse increases with the depth of penetration.
Those with IBS have reported a lack of sexual desire and difficulty arousing. As a result, women may experience dryness during sexual activity.
8. Worsening of Menstrual Symptoms
According to credible sources, women with irritable bowel syndrome are more likely to experience menstruation symptoms. During this time of the month, many women also experience a spike in the severity of their IBS symptoms. There appears to be a function for fluctuations in hormone levels. Irritable bowel syndrome may exacerbate period discomfort and bleeding.
Evidence suggests that IBS-related fatigue is more common in women than in men. Insomnia and other sleep problems are among the causes of exhaustion in persons with IBS, according to researchers. The severity of a person's IBS symptoms may also impact their level of fatigue.
A reliable source said IBS had been linked to depression and other mood and anxiety problems. While men and women with IBS report similarly high rates of despair and anxiety, more women than men report feeling stressed.
Are You at Risk?
The root of IBS is still unknown to medical professionals. Yet, being a woman is just one of several factors that can increase your risk.
The extra danger is caused by:
- Being younger than 50 years old
- Having a history of IBS in one's family
- Someone who has a mental illness, such as depression or anxiety
If you have a higher risk of getting IBS and are having severe symptoms of IBS, it is essential to get a further evaluation from your healthcare provider.
How is it Diagnosed?
Sadly, IBS cannot be diagnosed for sure. Instead, your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and medical history. They'll probably order tests to make certain nothing else is wrong.
Several of these diagnostic procedures may help doctors rule out additional potential causes:
- stool culture
- CT scan
- Lactose intolerance test
- Gluten intolerance test
An IBS diagnosis is more likely if you have, but are not necessarily limited to, the following symptoms and medical background:
- Gastrointestinal distress occurring at least once weekly over the past three months
- Abdominal distress that is alleviated by defecating
- A noticeable shift in the regularity or consistency of your bowel movements
- The discharge of mucus into your bowel movements
The Final Verdict
More women than men are diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. Although both sexes share many symptoms, women are more likely to experience them or be more severely affected by them due to differences in sex hormones.
If it turns out that you have IBS, your symptoms can be managed by a combination of lifestyle modifications, natural therapies, and medical treatment.