Do men and women feel pain differently?

4-3-2019 avcrnnseuajcg hs
Nurse gives injection to woman, New Orleans, 1941. Image: Wikimedia

Pain researchers are opening their eyes to the spectrum of responses across sexes. Results are starting to trickle out, and it’s clear that certain pain pathways vary considerably, with immune cells and hormones having key roles in differing responses.

This push is part of a broader movement to consider sex as an important variable in biomedical research, to ensure that studies cover the range of possibilities rather than gleaning results from a single population.

The research could open the door for new medical advances, adds [Institute of Gender and Health director Cara] Tannenbaum. These are sorely needed: some 20% of people worldwide experience chronic pain — and the majority are women. Today, the pharmaceutical market offers the same pain drugs to everyone. But if the roots of pain are different, some drugs might work better in some people than in others.

ADVERTISEMENT

Moreover, people might require different pain medications when hormone levels fluctuate through life. And a person’s sex doesn’t always fit clearly into the categories of male and female: it is determined by a spectrum of characteristics, including genetics, anatomical development and hormone levels, each of which might affect a person’s needs in pain therapy

Related article:  Cancer has a male bias and we're just starting to understand why
4-3-2019 d
Image: Nature

Read full, original post: Why the sexes don’t feel pain the same way

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Do you know where biotech crops are grown in the world? This updated ISAAA infographics show where biotech crops were ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists
Send this to a friend