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How a Female's Digestive System Differs From a Male's

By    |   Wednesday, 27 Apr 2016 07:51 PM

A female's digestive system differs from a male's in many ways. The most notable differences are due to childbearing, the presence of female reproductive organs, and hormones.

In an interview about the female digestive system with The Atlantic, gastroenterologist Dr. Robynne Chutnik explains that women have a longer colon than men — 10 centimeters longer. This difference in colon size may be related to pregnancy and the need for the body to absorb more water or fluid to keep the amniotic fluid continually filled.

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Chutnik describes the male colon as a “gentle horseshoe” and the female’s as a “tangled-up Slinky.”

Chutnik also points out the longer length of the female colon requires that it drops deep into the pelvis where the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the bladder are also housed. In the male digestive system, the colon sits in the abdomen with plenty of space to spread out without having to compete with reproductive organs.

Hormones also play a role in the difference between female digestive systems and male digestive systems.

Dr. Leila Hanna, gynecologist and obstetrician at The Sloan Hospital, explains to The Daily Mail that the female digestive system fluctuates with changes in progesterone and estrogen. For example, fluid retention, bloating, constipation, and slow digestion can all be caused by high levels of progesterone in the ovaries during ovulation due to the relaxing of the abdominal muscles.

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According to Chutnik, the female abdominal wall is not as tight as a male’s, due to hormonal differences, causing the organs to sit more loosely.

Men have strong abdominal walls because of testosterone, even if they are overweight. The rectus abdominis sheath holds the bowels in place, creating a “Spanx-type” muscular wall, she says.

The Mayo Clinic performed a digestion study and found there is a marked difference in digestion time between men and women. The time it takes food to travel through the large intestine for women is 47 hours and 33 hours for men.

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A female's digestive system differs from a male's in many ways. The most notable differences are due to childbearing, the presence of female reproductive organs, and hormones.
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2016-51-27
Wednesday, 27 Apr 2016 07:51 PM
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