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Sudden onset constipation, abdominal pain

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Old 03-19-2006, 09:05 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 8
Rebecca92 HB User
Sudden onset constipation, abdominal pain

I'm new to this board and looking for thoughts on some symptoms I'm having or if anyone else has experienced them.

I'm 31 and don't usually have bowel problems except sometimes softer, narrower stools that come out faster when I'm extremely stressed. However, three weeks ago I was poking around on my stomach trying to figure out where I'm going to do all of my shots for an upcoming in vitro fertilization cycle, and I noticed a tender spot about an inch to the right of my belly button. It only hurt when I pressed, and there was no bruising that I could see.

It's progressed to:
- the tender spot moving down toward the appendix area and eventually to the right groin area (no longer tender around the belly button or upper appendix area)
- I woke up with nausea exactly a week after I first noticed the tenderness. I had what started as a normal (if somewhat slightly soft) bowel movement that then ended with a little bit of an "exploded" bowel movement and the nausea got better after that
- the next day, I seemed to be constipated and having very loud bowel (not stomach) sounds
- I'm still having the nausea every morning for the past two weeks and having to take glycolax to have bowel movements; the movements are softer and narrower than usual, but maybe that's because of the glycolax
- the bowel sounds and nausea are better although not completely gone
- I sometimes have soreness below my ribs, particularly on the right side
- for the past four or five days, my stool seems to have little black seeds in it; I don't think they look like coffee grounds, but then again I don't drink coffee, so I don't know for sure

I've had a CBC, blood chemistry profile, sediment rate test, upper abdominal ultrasound, pelvic (full bladder) ultrasound and pelvic (trans-vag) ultrasound, all of which came back normal. My PCP is sending me for a CT scan next.

He also put me on hyoscyamine and told me to resume my anti-anxiety med, which I did. However, after a few days on those and starting to cut down on the glycolax, the nausea and bowel sounds increased again and the constipation resumed. I've now upped the glycolax back to the prescribed dose and am stopping the hyoscyamine and anti-anxiety med, because both of those list nausea and constipation as a side effect.

I've made myself into a basket case worrying about all sorts of horrible possibilities. Another thing that's really frustrating me is that if I don't get this resolved quickly, I'm going to have to postpone the IVF cycle. That probably doesn't sound like a big deal, but we've been trying desperately for three years to have kids, and have had to postpone IVF several times for other reasons (including two heartbreaking failed adoptions), so I'm really anxious to get back to "normal" and be able to do the cycle.

Sorry to write such a novel! Thanks in advance for any thoughts you have.


Last edited by Rebecca92; 03-19-2006 at 09:10 AM.

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Old 03-19-2006, 09:23 AM   #2
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Posts: 1,772
elmhar HB Userelmhar HB User
Re: Sudden onset constipation, abdominal pain

You're doing invitro ... could this be a gyne-assoc. problem? Those high-dose hormones can affect liver, gall bladder function ...

Best wishes.

Old 03-19-2006, 12:18 PM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 8
Rebecca92 HB User
Re: Sudden onset constipation, abdominal pain

Thank you for the quick reply, Elmhar. I don't think this is from the in vitro, because I haven't actually started any medications or shots for the cycle yet. (I'm supposed to start them on April 1.) The last time I was on fertility meds was more than a year ago.


Old 03-19-2006, 12:48 PM   #4
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 8
Rebecca92 HB User
Re: Sudden onset constipation, abdominal pain

Elmhar, after I went back and read your question again, I realized I mis-read it. The main reason we're doing in vitro is because my husband has severe male factor infertility. I do have polycystic ovarian syndrome, but this is the first time I've had these kinds of symptoms since being diagnosed three years ago, and constipation isn't a common symptom of PCOS and I'm not on any meds for it at the moment that might be causing it.


Old 03-19-2006, 03:37 PM   #5
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 1,064
Sunlover HB User
Re: Sudden onset constipation, abdominal pain

Have you been checked for appendicitis? That is exactly how it would act, complete with constipation! The fact that it moved from the belly button area, the tenderness, hurting when you pressed, the nausea, the constipation. I'd have that checked out definitely.

Old 03-19-2006, 03:45 PM   #6
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Southern US
Posts: 67
Lexi4529 HB User
Re: Sudden onset constipation, abdominal pain

I don't mean to scare you, but a close friend of mine was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She's only 39, and her only symptom was constipation and bowel problems.
Apparently ovarian cancer is very sneaky and has no real symptoms until it's pretty far advanced; hers was only diagnosed because it had spread to her bowel.
Please get this checked out immediately.
Ovarian cancer in young women is rare, but it does happen.
In your case, however, if there was a problem with your ovaries, it probably would've been found already, since you are undergoing fertility treatments. So I imagine yours is nothing serious and may be related to your treatments somehow, as someone else suggested.
But it still doesn't hurt to get it checked.
Hope it turns out to be nothing serious!

Old 03-19-2006, 08:54 PM   #7
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Location: Texas
Posts: 125
desertflower HB User
Re: Sudden onset constipation, abdominal pain

Hey you have had alot of the gyn tests done so I would not worry about ovarian cancer. I would ask your doc to refer you to a gastroenterologist and have a colonoscopy. It is a better way to look into your bowel to see if things are alright. I just had one and scared myself sick for nothing as the test is really no big deal. As far as the little black bits in your stool, alot of people have that, I know I have. Remember, what you eat does come out and can be all different kinds of colors in throughout the movement. I would not worry about that. Have the colonoscopy and forgo the cat scan, you will be glad you did.

Good luck,


Old 03-20-2006, 04:26 AM   #8
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 8
Rebecca92 HB User
Re: Sudden onset constipation, abdominal pain

Hi everyone,
Thank you so much for the replies!

Sunlover - At first I was thinking it might be appendicitis, but the pain never progressed to the point of being severe, and I don't have the "rebound tenderness" that is typical of it. However, I have read about a few cases of chronic appendicitis as opposed to acute appendicitis, so maybe if that's what's going on the CT scan will pick up on it.

Lexi - Thank you for your concern and for sharing your friend's story. I hope she beats the cancer. It is definitely something I will always be on the lookout for, particularly because of the fertility issues. My doctor said that since my ultrasounds came back clear, he doesn't think that's the cause of it. However, I have requested a CA-125 blood test anyway, which he agreed to.

Desertflower - I think I'm going to go ahead and do the CT scan just to be safe, but if that doesn't reveal anything, my next steps will definitely be to a GI specialist and a colonoscopy.

Again, thank you to everyone who replied. And if anyone else out there has any thoughts, please respond - I'd love to hear them.


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