Many women suffer from chronic pain but many remain untreated. Several reasons may explain why barriers to treatment still exist. Psychosocial factors, such as gender roles, pain coping strategies and mood may influence how pain is perceived and communicated. In addition, there may be a lack of acceptance or understanding of the biological differences between men and women that may impact how pain is perceived.
Chronic pain affects a higher proportion of women than men; however women are less likely to receive treatment. Research has shown that women generally experience more recurrent pain, more severe pain and longer lasting pain than men.
Many people are unaware that certain pain conditions are more prevalent in women than in men. For example, fibromyalgia, a condition characterized by chronic widespread pain, is significantly more prevalent in women. Other conditions that disproportionately affect women include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, chronic pelvic pain and migraine headache.
While WCHM takes all care to ensure that the information provided is up to date, we provide this information on the assumption that people accessing it will take responsibility for assessing its relevance and accuracy. Women are encouraged to discuss their health needs with a health practitioner. If you have concerns about your health, you should seek advice from your health care provider or if you require urgent care you should go to the nearest Emergency Department.