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Appendicitis in women: features of the disease in a fragile body

A sudden pain in the lower abdomen of a woman can signal the development of abdominal pathologies. It is important to promptly and correctly recognize the first symptoms of appendicitis and to call the doctors as soon as possible. However, the disease in women has many features and causes some difficulties in diagnosis. That is why it is important to understand all its nuances.


What is appendicitis, which side is the appendix

The cecum has a rudimentary process, which is called the appendix. This is a hollow organ that ends in a "dead end" - it is closed from the end. Until now, its functions are incomprehensible to physicians, therefore it is considered a rudiment.

Appendicitis in humans

Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix of the cecum.

There are theories, according to which the appendix helps to withstand the load, supports immunity, insures against certain diseases. This is a kind of border guard between the colon and the intestines. It protects the latter from the penetration of bacteria.

Sometimes as a result of some reasons, the entrance to the appendix is ​​clogged. However, the process continues to produce mucus, which now finds no way out. Against the background of such a blockage, the rudiment becomes inflamed, its walls stretch - appendicitis develops. If surgical assistance is not provided in a timely manner, then the expanding process may burst. The content is splashed into the peritoneum, one of the most severe complications develops - peritonitis.

The vermiform appendix possesses mobility. In addition, it can be localized in the body atypically. Incorrect location of the appendix is ​​often observed in women. In many cases, pelvic localization is noted, in which the process has a common network of vessels with the fallopian tube and ovary. And if a man's pain clearly indicates appendicitis, then a woman's discomfort in the same zone can signal problems with the genital organs .

Acute appendicitis - video

Causes of inflammation in adults

Appendicitis develops in people of any age. Both men and women suffer from pathology. And in the latter, the disease is diagnosed 2 times more often than in the stronger half. This is due to the anatomical structure of the female body.

According to statistics, appendicitis usually worries patients of childbearing age (from 20 to 40 years).

Common causes

Appendicitis can develop in the background:

  1. Infections. The disease can lead to inflammatory processes that occur even in the distance from the appendix. Pathogenic bacteria are sometimes carried with blood from such foci of infection as tonsillitis, inflammation of the tonsils.
  2. Chronic constipation. If fecal masses are not removed from the body in a timely manner, then they harden. Becoming dense, they block the mouth of the appendix, as a result of which inflammation develops.
    The woman has constipation

    Chronic constipation can lead to appendicitis.

  3. Parasites. The presence of worms in the body can trigger the onset of an inflammatory-infectious process.
  4. Abnormal structure. The stagnation of the contents in the rudiment can lead to a significant length of the process or the presence of bends.

The main female causes: monthly, anatomical features, pregnancy

Doctors associate the frequency of appendicitis in women with:

  1. Cyclical monthly changes. In the menstrual phase, a period begins when blood flow to the internal organs of the pelvis increases. Mucous membranes swell and can be irritating to the walls of the appendix.
  2. Close urogenital system and gastrointestinal tract. Such close proximity, which is characteristic only for the female body, can lead to the spread of diseases from one organ to another. So, any inflammation occurring in the urinary, reproductive system (uterus, ovaries) can provoke appendicitis.
    A woman's inflamed ovary is localized near the appendix

    Inflammatory processes in the female reproductive system can lead to appendicitis

  3. Pregnancy. Enlargement of the uterus leads to compression and displacement of internal organs. The blood supply to the tissues may be disrupted. Against the background of such phenomena can develop a variety of pathologies, including appendicitis.

Risk group

The risk of appendicitis is noted in patients, more often in women, which are characterized by:

  1. Improper nutrition. The blockage of the appendix is ​​observed in people who consume a lot of meat and practically do not eat foods enriched with fiber (bran, wheat, grain bread, broccoli, eggplant, cabbage, rice). It is fiber that activates peristalsis and helps cleanse the intestines.
  2. Hereditary predisposition Doctors say that inflammation of the appendix is ​​more common in people who carry some antigens that are genetically incorporated.
  3. Lifestyle. Significantly increase the risk of developing the pathology of constant stress, prolonged fatigue, smoking, alcohol abuse.

Signs of pathology in girls and women

Appendicitis most often occurs in an acute form. But sometimes there may be a chronic process. These forms have different manifestations, so they need to be considered separately.

Symptoms of acute pathology

The clinical picture of typical appendicitis is cyclical:

  1. Catarrhal stage. This is the beginning of a disease that can last for 12 hours. The catarrhal stage is characterized by the following course:
    • in the first hours of the development of inflammation appears:
      • pain in the stomach, resembling in its manifestations of gastritis;
      • discomfort usually appears in the evening or at night;
      • the pain is not intense, dull;
      • nausea, single vomiting possible;
    • after a few hours, the following symptoms occur:
      • pain covers the lower right corner of the abdomen (with the natural localization of the appendix);

        Appendicitis pain covers the lower right corner of the abdomen

      • discomfort acquires a pressing, pulsating character;
      • pain intensity is gradually increasing;
      • urination increases, diarrhea is possible;
      • temperature rises;
    • after 6–12 hours from the onset of inflammation, the following signs of pathology appear:
      • intoxication of the body: high weakness, malaise, painful dry mouth, rapid heartbeat;
      • pain is intense and difficult to bear;
      • the abdomen is soft, but pressing on the right part causes severe discomfort.
  2. Phlegmonous stage. It usually occurs by the end of the first day. Pathology is characterized by the following symptoms:
    • pain is localized in the right iliac region;
    • discomfort is pronounced pulsating;
    • nausea is constantly present;
    • tachycardia reaches 90 beats / min;
    • temperature ranges from 38–38.5 C;
    • right abdomen is tense and practically does not participate in the process of breathing.
  3. Gangrenous stage. If the patient has not previously been operated on, then the following clinical picture develops on day 2–3:
    • pain decreases as a result of the dying off of the appendix cells;
    • intoxication increases, vomiting often occurs, pronounced tachycardia;
    • temperature decreases, sometimes even below 36 ° C;
    • the stomach is swollen, peristalsis is not observed;
    • touching the zone of localization of the appendix causes severe pain.
  4. Perforated stage. By the end of the 3rd day, perforation (rupture) of the appendix wall usually occurs. The patient has the following clinical picture:
    • acute pain with increasing intensity;
    • constant discomfort, periods of relief does not occur;
    • repeated vomiting;
    • tense and swollen abdomen with a complete lack of motility;
    • temperature rises to critical values;
    • the raid on the tongue becomes brown.
High temperature on the thermometer

When perforation of the wall of the appendix, the temperature rises to critical values

The above terms and stages of the clinical picture are conditional. Sometimes there is lightning or latent development of appendicitis.

Of particular danger are cases with an atypical location of the process. Symptoms in such situations may vary significantly. The pain can be localized:

  • in hypochondrium on the right;
  • in the lumbar region;
  • in the crotch or pubis.

Quite often, an inflammation of the appendix develops during menstruation. As noted above, the proximity of the right ovary to the appendix is ​​to blame. And since some women experience aching pain during menstruation, many of them may not even suspect appendicitis.

During menstruation, such features can be observed:

  • severe pain;
  • nausea, vomiting, which appeared during the catarrhal stage.
Pain in a woman's lower abdomen

Some women often experience pain during menstruation, so they can not timely determine the inflammation of the appendix.

Sometimes young girls experience so much pain during each month that appendicitis is suspected. Such patients definitely need to consult a doctor. As a rule, after childbirth, the severity of discomfort is significantly reduced.

Signs of acute appendicitis in young girls have a more acute and pronounced nature than in women after childbirth.

Symptoms of the chronic form

Chronization of the process is very rare.

Such appendicitis is characterized by the following symptoms:

  1. Sluggish inflammatory process in which there is aching pain. Periodically, the patient feels a strong paroxysmal discomfort in his right side.
  2. The pain may be localized in the navel, covering the iliac region. Sometimes it radiates to the leg, it is felt in the back.
    Aching pain in the lower abdomen of a woman

    Chronic pathology is characterized by the periodic appearance of aching pain in the right abdomen.

  3. Periodically, the patient suffers from constipation, which are replaced by diarrhea.
  4. Pain in the abdomen aggravated by coughing, sneezing. Discomfort occurs after an act of defecation.
  5. Often, menstrual irregularities develop.
  6. Women experience discomfort during or immediately after intercourse. Sometimes intimacy causes painful cramps.

It is important to understand that all the "female" symptoms of appendicitis, such as a violation of the cycle, increased pain, the presence of vomiting, nausea from the first stages of inflammation may indicate the development of diseases in the reproductive system. Sometimes they indicate dangerous conditions such as torsion of cysts, ovarian rupture.

Diagnosis: what research can determine the presence of pathology

In women, appendicitis is much more difficult to determine than in men. Indeed, under the mask of inflammation can hide a variety of gynecological pathology. That is why, in the presence of abdominal pain, a woman is initially sent for a gynecologist examination.

The following measures are used to diagnose appendicitis:

  1. Survey of the patient. The doctor will clarify the nature of the pain, find out its location, learn about additional symptoms. In addition, the doctor will ask questions about the menstrual cycle.
  2. Examination of the patient. Refined body temperature and heart rate. Then the surgeon palpates the abdomen. There are specific signs that help diagnose appendicitis:
    • increased pain occurs when raising the right leg and pressing on the rectal area;
    • the discomfort is much stronger if the patient lies on his back and bends his knees;
    • while pressing on the area under the navel, the patient's discomfort increases.
      The doctor is palpating the abdomen of a woman

      The surgeon will palpate the abdomen to identify specific signs that help diagnose appendicitis.

  3. Lab tests. Blood test results indicate inflammation in the body. The study of urine helps to suspect the pathology of the genitourinary system.
  4. Ultrasound procedure. It is used if the patient suspects gynecological diseases or abnormalities in the peritoneum, pelvis.
  5. X-ray peritoneum. The study makes it possible to eliminate the risk of intestinal obstruction.
  6. Diagnostic laparoscopy. This method is resorted to in the event that all the measures described above did not allow us to accurately establish the pathology. This is the most accurate diagnostic method that allows you to assess the state of the appendix, pelvic and peritoneal organs.

Differential diagnostics

Acute appendicitis in women must be differentiated from many other pathologies, among which the following disorders are most often observed:

  1. Painful periods. In appendicitis, pain from the navel spreads to the right iliac area. In the case of menstrual discomfort covers the lower back and lower abdomen.
  2. Inflammation of the appendages or adnexitis. With this pathology, raising the right leg does not cause an increase in pain. In addition, adnexitis is characterized by the presence of vaginal discharge, menstrual disorders, and an increase in appendages.
  3. Ectopic pregnancy. Discomfort radiating to the sacrum, the crotch, can give to the scapula. There are secretions in the form of blood clots.
  4. Rupture of the right ovary. There is a sharp pain in the lower abdomen after physical or strong emotional stress. The condition of the woman is rapidly deteriorating. To diagnose pathology allows inspection by a gynecologist and ultrasound.
Ultrasound of the peritoneum in a woman

Ultrasound helps to eliminate gynecological diseases and abdominal organs pathologies

Chronic appendicitis has similar symptoms with such pathologies:

  1. Pyelonephritis. Urine analysis indicates kidney disease. To confirm the diagnosis, ultrasound is performed.
  2. Peptic ulcer disease. If you suspect a pathology, a woman is prescribed gastroscopy. In case of perforation of the ulcer, the feces become black.
  3. Chronic cholecystitis. Vomitus, in which bile is completely absent, may indicate problems with the gallbladder.
  4. Chronic gynecological pathologies. Such pathologies may be suspected by the gynecologist after examining the patient. For a more detailed study is assigned an ultrasound.

Distinctive features of appendicitis - video

Appendicitis treatment

The only treatment for acute appendicitis is surgery to remove the process. Moreover, the earlier it is carried out, the better the outcome of the disease.

Preparation for the operation includes several important events that are most often carried out on an emergency basis:

  1. The stomach of the patient is freed from the remnants of food. The patient is forbidden to drink water.
  2. For severe intoxication, intensive therapy is carried out.

Depending on the stage of the pathology, the intervention method will be chosen:

  1. Laparoscopy. The most preferred method of surgery. In the abdominal cavity, several incisions are made through which the instrumentation and the camera are inserted. Laparoscopy is possible only during the catarrhal stage, when there are no complications. This method allows much faster recovery after surgery. And, as a rule, already for 2-3 days the patient is discharged home.
  2. Laparotomy. Dissection of the peritoneum is carried out with more severe appendicitis. Assign with phlegmonous, gangrenous stage, in the case of peritonitis. After surgery, drainage is inserted into the cavity. This is a more traumatic intervention. Approximately 7–10 days to remove the stitches. And the patient is discharged for 10-14 days.

Laparoscopy - the least traumatic method of surgery

After surgery, the woman may change the menstrual cycle. This is especially characteristic of those patients who have suffered a severe form of appendicitis. Such violations are temporary. The cycle is fully restored within 2-3 months.

Treatment of the chronic form, if the woman does not have symptoms of inflammation, begins with the appointment of antibiotics. This pathology does not need an emergency operation. But doctors recommend not to delay and carry out the removal of the appendix in a planned manner, without waiting for its inflammation.

Postoperative period

After surgery, the patient is prescribed a course of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs. In the case of purulent inflammations, hormonal treatments are included in the therapy. If necessary, prescribe blood filtration - plasmapheresis.

Dietary nutrition after surgery

After removing the appendix, doctors recommend:

  1. During the first 12 hours. It is allowed to use only water without gas.
  2. 12 hours later. A small amount of berry fruit jelly, chicken broth is acceptable.
  3. On the 2nd day. In the diet, you can enter vegetable puree (only water), dairy products, dietary meat (boiled).
  4. A week later. Meals are replenished with pumpkin, carrot, beetroot, and zucchini puree soups. Menus complement cereals: oatmeal, rice, buckwheat. Useful boiled meat, steam chicken cutlets, beef. The patient is recommended to use low-fat dairy products.

It is recommended to refuse products that cause fermentation and gas formation in the digestive system (legumes, cabbage, pickles, soda).

After about 2 weeks, the patient is allowed to gradually return to the normal diet.

Dietary food - photo gallery

Physical activity

The surgery (especially laparotomy) can lead to the appearance of adhesions, and sometimes hernias. To prevent the formation of such complications, doctors advise feasible physical activity.

After surgery, a woman is recommended:

  1. Rise from a bed. It is allowed to climb by the end of the first day.
  2. Physiotherapy. Be sure to perform light exercises that allow the body to recover faster. The exception is classes in the abdominals.
  3. Walking To prevent the formation of adhesions, it is recommended to walk slowly.
    Walking tour

    After surgery, the woman is useful walking

  4. Exclusion of heavy loads. Within 6 weeks after the operation, the internal tissues are spliced. To protect the body from the formation of hernias during this period, it is necessary to refrain from heavy physical labor and weight lifting.

To prevent the development of appendicitis in women is quite difficult. After all, to start the inflammatory process in a fragile organism is capable of many reasons. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully consider your health and, if you have characteristic symptoms, do not hesitate to visit a doctor.


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