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.