Journal Article

Association between gastro-intestinal symptoms and menstruation in patients with ileal pouches

Shishira Bharadwaj, Xian-rui Wu, Matthew D. Barber, Elaine Queener, Lesley Graff and Bo Shen

in Gastroenterology Report

Volume 2, issue 3, pages 207-214
Published in print August 2014 |
Published online July 2014 | e-ISSN: 2052-0034 | DOI:

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Background and aims: Gastro-intestinal (GI) symptoms are often experienced by healthy women during menstruation. An increased frequency of GI symptoms during menses has also been reported in women with irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD); however, IBD patients with restorative proctocolectomy and ileal pouch-anal anastomoses (IPAA) have not been studied. We aimed to examine the association between GI symptoms before and during menses in patients with IPAA, and to assess factors for exacerbation of GI symptoms in those patients.

Methods: Adult women recorded in the Pouchitis Registry were invited to participate in a mailed survey. Participants reported on GI symptoms 1–5 days prior to- (pre-menses) and during the days of their menses in recent months. Demographic and clinical variables were obtained through the survey and chart review.

Results: One hundred and twenty-eight (21.3%) out of 600 women with IPAA responded to the survey questionnaire. Forty-three (33.5%) were excluded for reasons including post-menopausal (n = 25), hysterectomy (n = 14) and use of contraceptives (n = 4). Abdominal pain (P = 0.001), diarrhea (P = 0.021), and urgency (P = 0.031) were more commonly reported during menses than pre-menses by the participants. Only a history of painful menses was significantly associated with increased GI symptoms during menses for patients with ileal pouch (odds ratio = 5.67; 95% confidence interval: 1.41–22.88; P = 0.015).

Conclusion: GI symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and urgency are commonly associated with menses in patients with ileo-anal pouch. Painful menses may be associated with worsening of GI symptoms.

Keywords: inflammatory bowel disease; ileal pouch-anal anastomosis; menstruation; symptomatology; restorative proctocolectomy

Journal Article.  4465 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Gastroenterology

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