70% of the people impacted by chronic pain are women – however 80% of pain studies are conducted on male mice or human men. Unsurprisingly, there are gender differences in the way women and men respond to analgesic drugs – as well as the way women and men experience the sensation of pain – but this has yet to be incorporated into evidence-based medicine.
Women’s pain is routinely dismissed as psychological when compared to male counterparts.
Food for thought: One obstacle women in chronic pain face is physician attitudes and practices regarding their diagnosis. Women are less likely to be believed. Evaluating pain is a subjective measure. There are lengthy delays in care and diagnosis surrounding many gynecological diseases/syndromes/states (due, in part, to physicians being less likely to believe women when they say that something is wrong). So is there a way to use the variety of tracking services women now employ, in the form of wearables, period tracking apps etc. to speed up the access to care via quantifiable physiological indicators of pain? Or, conversely, are there specific trigger symptoms to be identified so that physicians can be made aware that their patients require treatment?
What is the best way to link women’s chronic pain symptoms to treatment?