Understanding Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms in Men and Women

By: Researcher Taymur

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can affect men and women but is more common in women. In both genders, common symptoms include:

  • Increase or decrease in bowel movements
  • frequent bathroom emergencies
  • diarrhea, constipation, or alternation between the two
  • feeling that bowel movements are incomplete
  • abdominal bloating, cramping, gas, or pain
  • heartburn
  • feeling uncomfortable or nauseous after eating normal meals
  • lower back pain
  • symptoms that get worse after meals
  • stools that are waterier.

A study published by the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) shows that men are much less likely to report IBS signs to their doctor in Western cultures than women. There is therefore a lack of data on gender-specific symptoms. Symptoms may be continuous, but they come and go in stages for most people, which happens at least three days a month.

Understanding Symptoms in Women

During their childbearing years, women are usually diagnosed with IBS. Further gynecological conditions also appear to be identified by women with IBS.

1st is Menstruation

Therefore many IBS women say their symptoms vary depending on their menstrual cycles. Because women with IBS can experience more abdominal pain and diarrhea before and during their time. So women with IBS may experience more bloating and constipation after ovulation (day 14 of a cycle).

Women with IBS are more likely to experience the following:

As many as one third of all pregnant women say that they have increased heartburn, nausea, and bowel movements or constipation compared to non-pregnant women. Not much research has been done when it comes to linking pregnancy with an increase in IBS symptoms. To find out if these symptoms are due to the fetus ‘ physical pressure on your internal organs or IBS, more studies are needed.

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2nd is Endometriosis

However endometriosis is a condition in which tissue develops outside your uterus, which usually forms the inside of your uterus. However according to IFFGD, some studies show that women with endometriosis have a higher incidence of symptoms related to IBS.

3rd is Sexual Relationships

So you can experience a decrease in sexual desire if you have IBS. Simlarly during sex, you may also have discomfort and pain. So this can have a powerful impact on sexual intercourse.

4th is Quality of Life

However frequent breaks in the bathroom, pain, and general discomfort may make working at work, at home, and in social situations more difficult for you. Because many IBS women report depression or isolation feelings.

Understanding Symptoms in Men

Therefore studies show that men are less likely to report IBS symptoms to their doctor in Western countries than women. So this resulted in a scarcity of useful data.

Because several researchers suggest that the male gut may be less responsive to the effects of IBS due to hormonal differences. So others think that men are simply avoiding seeking IBS assistance.

Quality of Life

So unlike women, men with IBS may have sexual intimacy issues. Therefore it may also be difficult for men with IBS to fulfill their work, home, and social obligations. Because they also have a greater chance of suffering from depression.


Similarly, IBS affects both men and women. Whether women have more flare-ups during menstruation and pregnancy is still unclear. It is also uncertain that people do not report their condition to their physicians. This disorder needs to be further investigated and how it affects men and women.

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