Colon problems include a wide range of disorders, from constipation and diarrhoea to polyps and cancer. Women may be at a higher risk of certain types of colon problems than men, and the symptoms of colon problems may be mistaken for gynaecological conditions in women. According to the National Library of Medicine and the Mayo Clinic, causes of colon problems in women include lifestyle factors and family history.
Types of colon problems in women include digestive problems (diarrhoea, constipation), inflammation (diverticulitis), irritable bowel, and abnormal growths (polyps, cancer).
Symptoms of colon problems depend on the condition. They often begin with digestive difficulties, abdominal pain, bloating, and bright red blood in the stool.
Risk factors for colon problems in women include being overweight, having Crohn's disease or breast cancer, all of which are more common in women than in men.
Your doctor may do a digital (manual) rectal exam as well as a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy to diagnose colon problems such as polyps.
Women who have a family history of colon cancer have a higher risk of getting colon cancer as well, and they may need early and regular colon cancer screenings.
Colon problems may worsen conditions such as premenstrual syndrome in women, and cancer of the colon may quickly spread to the uterus, ovaries or cervix.