Hattie Gladwell for Metro.co.uk
I was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease when I was 19, after undergoing emergency surgery to have my large bowel removed.
I have ulcerative colitis – a form of IBD that affects the lower part of your digestive system, including your colon. The other main type of IBD is Crohn’s disease, a form that affects your entire digestive system including your mouth.
As someone who suffers from ulcerative colitis, I know first-hand how hard living with the chronic illness can be.
It can be draining, both physically and mentally. It can leave you in horrendous amounts of pain, heavily medicated and unable to leave you hospitalised or unable to leave your bed for days.
While both men and women can suffer from the condition, as a woman, there are a few things I’ve noticed that are gender specific – ranging from both medical help to everyday embarrassing conversations.
Here are 11 things you’ll only understand if you’re a woman who lives with inflammatory bowel disease.