The staff of the Gastroenterology/Hepatology Program understands women’s digestive disorders as well as their concerns.
Gastrointestinal disorders can be different in men and women. Certain diseases have complications specific to women. These disorders may cause embarrassment and prevent women from seeking medical care.
Some disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation and fecal incontinence, occur more often in women than in men.
Hormones may play a role in a women’s gastrointestinal health. During pregnancy, for example, gastrointestinal disorders are common among women. Certain functional disorders of the gastrointestinal tract can be triggered or worsened by hormonal changes during a woman’s menstrual cycle.
The decline in estrogen and progesterone production during and after menopause may also affect a women’s GI health, causing symptoms such as GI distress, indigestion, flatulence and nausea.
Some gastrointestinal disorders, such as a rectocele, occur only in women. A rectocele is an abnormal bulging of the rectovaginal septum (a membrane between the rectum and vagina).