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Why It Can Hurt To Be A Woman

Why It Can Hurt To Be A Woman

Being a woman just got a little harder.  A new study shows that women experience more pain over a lifetime than men and the pain women feel is often more intense and long-lasting.  A recent article from CNN discusses what doctors have found and what it means to women. 

Though researchers are unsure exactly why women have more recurrent pain and disabilities from pain, one theory has a lot to do with hormones.  Jennifer Kelly, from the Atlanta Center for Behavioral Medicine in Georgia, discusses this theory and how the menstrual cycle often has a lot to do with discomfort for women who suffer from recurrent pains.  Interestingly, scientists found that a woman’s brain structure actually changes significantly when they suffer from menstrual cramps.

And what could be making pain worse for women is that we tend to focus on the emotional aspects of the pain which could lead to depression.  Men have been found to only focus on the sensory issues rather than worrying how the pain may effect their responsibilities like women do.  

Since we seem to deal with pain differently, it only makes sense that doctors shouldn’t treat men and women pain sufferers in the same way.  Dr. Chaim Putterman, chief of rheumatology at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, discusses why he agress that doctors should consider gender when treating a patient with chronic pain.  Dr. Putterman says, “We may be doing our patients a disservice by doing it that way, and perhaps there are gender-specific influences that need to be taken into account that we’re not taking into account.”

What do you think of the new studies showing women suffer from more pain than men?

Do you think doctors should take this into consideration when treating patients?

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  • gengingirl By gengingirl
    08.14.10  

    I complete believe in this because more women are taking on more and are the head of household. so this would create more symptons on us.

  • Brenda121 By Brenda121
    08.16.10  

    I'm sure they do. If men get as much as a sniffle, they act like their dying..

  • lacinda68 By lacinda68
    08.17.10  

    So true, women have a higher tolerance for pain. When we do finally complain to a doctor it is only because it is extremely bad. There is a bias in health care and women aren't treated adequately with pain...they tell her she has anxiety or depression. But a man gets his pain treated, just a horrible set up.

  • Jennyfr By Jennyfr
    08.17.10  

    There are many reasons doctors should take this into consideration. Like lacinda said women do have a higher tolerance for pain. Not only do we wait and wait until it gets bad (or possibly goes away) but we don't let the entire world know that we hurt like men do. Women also have the instinct built into them to always look out for others FIRST, meaning our children, husbands, dogs, parents, etc. are taken care of and then if we have any energy or time there may be time for US. Hormones are also a huge factor!

  • Jennyfr By Jennyfr
    08.17.10  

    I forgot to add that a big difference between my husbands pain and my pain is that I will NOT take the pain meds that he takes because I have to keep myself in control and he never sees a problem with being "loopy" as one of my doctors told me!

  • Brindamorr By Brindamorr
    08.25.10  

    I suffer with chronic pain, and I do notice that hormones play a role. So do other factors, like weather, and stress. I am also hesitant to medicate, and I don't talk about it much. I have two boys to look out for. Their safety comes before my comfort. My husband is like the other ones mentioned. When he doesn't feel well, his focus is on himself.

  • redshoesnob42 By redshoesnob42
    08.25.10  

    I believe that stress is the cause of most of what is wrong with women. We wear way more hats than we have ever had to and it takes its tole on us, physically. We also have bought into the myth that we HAVE to do it ALL. That somehow if we don't we are less of a woman. This causes terrible stress; and we know that stress makes pain worse. Having a good cry just won't do it any more.

  • silk79 By silk79
    08.29.10  

    To much stress can cause alot of health problems also.. Everyone tells me to chill out, but its easier said then done...

  • vintagepurple By vintagepurple
    09.08.10  

    so what your saying we all need to kick randome men in leg to even up the score?! i am totally board! look out fellas ;-)

  • misspassion89 By misspassion89
    09.10.10  

    From my experiences it seems that when a man is head of house they are most likely to be the ones refusing to go to the doctors even for a checkup and I know some people who go so many times they make themselves believe they are sick when they are not. As for the men who never go, it is not that they are stronger than women, but maybe they're just content with their lives. For women, we go through not just puberty but menstrual cycles, mid life crisis, menopausal...never ending cycles of pain & discomfort in our lives and we survive only to make us stronger.

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