What Are the Signs of Appendicitis in Women?

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  • Written By: Misty Amber Brighton
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 18 May 2019
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Appendicitis can be a life-threatening medical emergency, so it is important to know the symptoms. One of the first signs of appendicitis in women is pain near the belly button that progresses to the lower right side of the abdomen. Fever may also be present and accompanied by nausea or vomiting. A diagnosis can be made by performing an ultrasound, x-ray, or blood test.

The appendix is located in the lower part of the abdomen and is connected to the large intestine. When inflammation of this organ initially occurs, pain may develop in the middle abdominal area close to the naval. After some time, the pain usually spreads to the lower right corner of the abdomen, which is one of the main signs of appendicitis in women. The amount of time it takes for this pain to spread varies from one individual to the next, and can be anywhere from a few hours to days or weeks.

Areas of the abdomen where pain is present may feel sore or tender to the touch. In some cases, the area may also look inflamed. The pain does not generally extend into the pelvic region, so it can easily be distinguished from menstrual cramps.


Pregnant women may not initially feel some of the abdominal pain felt by other women. The first sign may be moderate to severe pain in the lower abdominal area, which can sometimes mimic Braxton Hicks or false contractions. For this reason, women who are expecting should consult their physician anytime abdominal pain is present.

After experiencing pain in the right side, one of the next signs of appendicitis in women is nausea or vomiting. This can be accompanied by a loss of appetite. In the early stages of pregnancy, these conditions are often attributed to morning sickness rather than being recognized as symptoms of appendicitis.

When women have an inflamed appendix, they may also experience a fever. This is because appendicitis is an infection of this organ. The white blood cell count can be extremely high, which often makes it easy to diagnose this condition by drawing the patient's blood.

Many signs of appendicitis in women are much like that of men. Even so, women may sometimes confuse their symptoms for other conditions, such as pelvic inflammatory disease. Appendix removal is normally recommended for people suffering from inflammation in this organ. For this reason, both genders should seek medical advice if they have severe abdominal pain accompanied by nausea and a fever.


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Post 6

@ysmina-- The symptoms of appendicitis in women can vary and develop at different rates in different people. Nausea and vomiting in addition to pain are symptoms of acute appendicitis. It might not cause nausea and vomiting in the early stages, but it usually causes lack of appetite.

I think that if you're suspecting appendicitis at all, it's better to get checked out. I waited until things got very bad and mine had almost burst by the time I reached the hospital. It was scary. You don't want to wait until it gets that bad.

And if it's not appendicitis, then at least you will know and your mind will be at ease.

Post 5

Does everyone experience nausea and vomiting when they have appendicitis?

I have abdomen pain but I don't have nausea.

Post 4

My mom is a nurse, and she knows about appendicitis symptoms in women. So when I started experiencing constant pain below my rib cage, she had me lie down and bring my knees toward my chest and asked me if there was pain. There was unbearable pain when I tried to pull my legs towards myself. This is when she said, we need to go to a doctor. It turned out to be appendicitis and I had surgery that very day.

Post 3

@irontoenail - that's the fault of the doctor, and not your fault. If you feel something is painful enough to justify going in, then you should always go in and not wait until more severe symptoms emerge. With many illnesses, by the time the symptoms get that severe, it might already be too late to treat the illness.

I once had want I thought were appendix symptoms and they turned out to be a large ovarian cyst that needed to be fixed. It could have been dangerous if I hadn't gone in.

And often women will have severe pain and vomiting during their periods because they have an undiagnosed condition that can be treated. But, they won't go to the doctor because they feel they should be toughing it out. It's not true. You deserve to live without pain if at all possible, and don't let anyone make you feel otherwise.

Post 2

@Ana1234 - If it gets to the point where someone has a fever you should definitely not delay any further. But I can see why someone might be reluctant to go to the doctor for some of these symptoms. Particularly if they are pregnant, or even just a woman.

Because I've found myself in the doctor's office for what I thought was appendix pain before and it sometimes turns out to be something like gas, or period pains. And doctors can be very condescending.

Post 1

One of my friends had all of these appendicitis symptoms and kept insisting that there was nothing wrong, even after she started to vomit. We were on a bus trip across the country and I think she was a bit anxious about ruining the trip and was trying to be tough and just not complain.

But, when she turned out to have a fever and was almost doubling over with the pain, I insisted that she be allowed off the bus and that we go to the hospital.

And lucky I did as well, because of course she actually did have appendicitis. Maybe she thought it was something that only happens in the movies or something, but in this case she was wrong.

They removed it without any problems, but if she had waited any longer it could have burst and then she would have been in trouble.

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