OSCAR BURRIEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY OSCAR BURRIEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Abdominal pain in a woman. Front view of a nude woman suffering abdominal cramp, depicted abstractly as a knotted rope. Her hands are held to her abdomen. The pain may be due to stress, or cramp at the time of menstruation known as dysmenorrhea. It may also represent the condition of irritable bowel syndrome (spastic colon) in which there is gripping cramp in the large intestine. This may be accompanied by irregular bowel habits of constipation or diarrhoea or both. Anxiety and stress are believed to be the main causes of irritable bowel syndrome, with the condition most common in women.
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