Message Board: Is women's pain overlooked and misunderstood?

The sexes experience pain differently, but most drugs are tested on men, we reported last week. The story prompted readers to share their own stories at
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The Independent Online


Drug research should spend more money on women and stop research and expenses on men. Men could, and should, bear pain. Frankly, one more pain for them doesn't make much difference.


Men are keener to sign up for drug trials than women. It's up to women to start pushing themselves forward. Although, to be fair, look at how much is spent on breast cancer research compared with cancers associated with men.


Chronic pain is a disability widely misunderstood by GPs and consultants. Chronic pain is real and not a psychological problem. It cannot be seen by the naked eye, which is why it is difficult for people to understand the problem.


Many NHS doctors are ignorant and compound this with a complete lack of interest in the conditions presented to them. A GP I consulted suggested I needed psychiatric treatment for a pustulating rash that would not go away for two years.


I have suffered debilitating periods since the age of 13 and have been given numerous treatments, none of which has helped. No one really has an understanding of what period pain can be. I have spent thousands looking for relief.


Women have pain built into their lives, if only when they go into labour. They often suffer without complaint. That they take pain for granted has encouraged the development of drugs for "male" pain, because this is perceived as exceptional.


I thought it was men who suffered silently. They are the ones more likely to present their diseases at a later stage to doctors. I think resources should be directed at making men more aware of their pain so they know when to seek help.


Why do women get upset when told that their pain has a psychological root? It doesn't make the pain any less real. There are many alternative therapies that seek to resolve pain by understanding this mind-body interplay.


Pain seems to be impossible to measure objectively. Maybe men and women just have different thresholds for different types of pain? My son and daughter react to pains very differently. Scientists should research that.

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