When your appendix gets infected and swells, you have appendicitis. Women with appendicitis may not experience typical appendicitis symptoms, especially if they are pregnant or over 50. For nonpregnant women who are of childbearing age, the signs of appendicitis can be similar to gynaecological conditions like pelvic inflammatory disease, making proper diagnosis difficult. Being aware of appendicitis symptoms may help prevent a misdiagnosis.
One of the most common signs of appendicitis is pain in the abdominal area. The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse states that in the case of appendicitis, abdominal pain begins suddenly near the belly button before moving to the lower right portion of the abdomen. Abdominal pain typically precedes other appendicitis symptoms and is more painful when moving, coughing or breathing deeply. Women with appendicitis may feel as though a bowel movement will alleviate this abdominal pain, and they may also experience swelling in the abdominal area.
Mild fever may follow other appendicitis symptoms. Other signs of appendicitis that can accompany fever include chills and shaking. According to the University of Michigan Health System, fever associated with appendicitis is usually not very high. Because the fever is mild, women with appendicitis may overlook it as one of the signs of appendicitis, which could possibly lead to a rupture or a life-threatening condition called peritonitis. If you experience abdominal pain along with fever, consult a doctor.
Along with abdominal pain, women with appendicitis may experience other digestive problems. Some of these digestive signs of appendicitis include vomiting or diarrhoea, constipation, problems passing gas, nausea and appetite loss.