Why Is Colonoscopy More Difficult In Women

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Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 9448
   Posted 7/9/2009 1:29 PM (GMT -7)   
My gastro says I have one of the most redundant colons she has encountered. turn I've posted this abstract before too but its also been a couple of years since I've done so.
Gastrointest Endosc 1996 Feb;43(2 Pt 1):124-6

Why is colonoscopy more difficult in women?

Saunders BP, Fukumoto M, Halligan S, Jobling C, Moussa ME, Bartram CI, Williams CB.
Department of Endoscopy, St. Mark's Hospital, London, England.

BACKGROUND: In our experience colonoscopy in women is more difficult than in men. A retrospective review of 2194 colonoscopies performed by a single experienced endoscopist (CBW) showed that 31% of examinations in women were considered technically difficult compared with 16% in men.
METHODS: To investigate a possible anatomic basis for this finding, normal barium enema series from 183 female and 162 male patients were identified. From these barium enemas, measurements of colonic length and mobility were independently taken by two physicians who were unaware of each patient's gender.

RESULTS: Total colonic length was greater in women (median, 155 cm) compared to men (median, 145 cm), p = 0.005, despite women's smaller stature (p < 0.0001). Although there were no significant differences in rectum plus sigmoid, descending, or ascending plus cecum segmental lengths, women had longer transverse colons (female median length, 48 cm; male median length, 40 cm), p < 0.0001. There were no differences in mobility of the descending colon and transverse colon between the sexes, but the transverse colon reached the true pelvis more often in women (62%) than in men (26%), p < 0.001.
CONCLUSIONS: Colonoscopy appears to be a technically more difficult procedure in women. The reason for this may be due in part to an inherently longer colon.
PMID: 8635705 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Some people are like Slinkies... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 7/9/2009 5:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Hmmmm, does that mean us women are full of more crap then men are??? I find that hard to believe LOL!

I thought it might have had to do with our vaginal wall being basically right up against the rectom area.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2739
   Posted 7/9/2009 10:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh just another thing us women are blessed with! Cause the monthly visit and child birth couldn't possibly be enough fun! ;)
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2/06, and Health Anxiety/OCD 12/08 Taking Asacol, Questran, Toprol XL, and Lexapro.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 9448
   Posted 7/10/2009 5:29 AM (GMT -7)   
I usually have my scopes w/no sedation and just Demerol or Fentynal and I swear my transverse colon can loop down to my bladder!! Its the only area we have any problems. Its the area it takes us the longest to traverse. "We" zip right up the descending colon and get about half way across the transverse colon before we are slowed right down to a crawl until we FINALLY manage to make it the rest of the way thru the transverse colon and get around that hepatic flexure, zipping down the ascending colon is a picnic and then, of course, its a bit tricky maneuvering our way thru the ileocecal valve into the ileum but that area is always a bit of a challenege in anyone. I watch on the monitor and we also video my scopes. Its really interesting to watch.
Some people are like Slinkies... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1831
   Posted 7/10/2009 9:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Interesting. Maybe that's why when my resection was done in '82 that they had enough large bowel to reconnect with the small one and I didn't end up with an ostomy............

And I can't believe you are awake for your scopes. No way for me -- give me drugs and wake me up when it's over!

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