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Int J Fertil Womens Med. 2002 May-Jun;47(3):136-42.

Gender issues in the management of inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

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Section of Gastroenterology, University of Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are two chronic inflammatory diseases involving the gastrointestinal tract. While many aspects of the management of these diseases are identical for all patients, there are some issues that are specific to women that are not necessarily part of routine care. Such gender-specific issues as menses, fertility, pregnancy and menopause are often overlooked and mismanaged. Women have different psychological concerns as compared with men with regard to their self-image and impact of disease. Health care providers, regardless of their primary focus, should be aware of these differences and be familiar with general information. Irritable bowel syndrome is a prevalent condition that affects more women than men. Theories as to its underlying pathophysiology are still evolving, but what does appear clear is that women pose specific challenges to the management of this condition.

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