The pain of fibromyalgia, migraine and irritable bowel syndrome are more common in women than in men. New research from Stanford University proposes that women seem to suffer more from pain, even if its from the same condition, such as a back problem or arthritis.   The findings, however don’t indicate why women report higher pain levels. It has been suggested that men are socialized to be more stoic, thus underreporting pain.  However, Dr. Atul Butte, an associate professor at Stanford’s medical school said “You have to think about biological causes for the difference.”
An extensive study by the International Association for the Study of Pain reported that sex hormones may be a factor in gender pain differences. The study found that once women reached menopause, headache and abdominal pain began to subside.
Interestingly, some researchers believe pain experience may change for women who have given birth. They may have a different threshold for “worst pain ever” and consequently underreport some types of pain. In the end, according to Dr. Butte,  “It comes down to what the brain perceives as pain.”  NYTimes.com Stuart Bradford

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