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9-May-14 9:45 AM  CST  

A Look At Gender Gaps In Pain 

Laurie Edwards, writer, teacher, and healthcare advocate has authored many articles and books on the subject of healthcare, pain, and chronic illness. Edwards asks a question in many of her musings:  Does pain affect men and women differently? She also discusses that drugs often work differently in men vs. women. In the article “The Gender Gap In Pain,” published in the New York Times, Edwards brings up some very interesting points about gender gaps and pain. Here is a look at some of them:


  • Undermedicated. Edwards suggests that women are undermedicated compared to men. Do you notice that difference as a pharmacy technician?
  • Women & Composition. Women are made different than men in many ways. They have different hormonal cycles, smaller organs, and a larger amount of body fat composition. Men and women also have differences in gene expression as well. All of these factors come into play in the way men and women respond to drugs differently. 
  • Just Because We Are Women. Women are more likely to suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. Women are also more prone to reacting to pain emotionally. 


            Edwards comments here in her New York Times article about women and pain. “Part of the reason the diagnosis and treatment of women’s pain lag so much is simply the pace of medical research itself, which is slow to move from publication to clinical practice. Unfortunately, if anything, changes in assumptions about gender evolve even more slowly,” said Edwards.

            To learn more about Laurie Edwards and her views on women and pain, please go to



1.  Laurie Edwards Web Site.   

2.  Edwards, Laurie. “The Gender Gap In Pain.” New York Times. Web. Date of Access: 5 May 2014.


3.  Veland, Cherilyn. “New Research On How Your Gender Affects Your Pain.” Web. Date of Access: 5 May 2014.

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Source: Jennifer S. O’Reilly

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