“In 2011, the Institute of Medicine published a report on the public health impact of chronic pain, called “Relieving Pain in America.” It found that not only did women appear to suffer more from pain, but that women’s reports of pain were more likely to be dismissed.This is a serious problem, because pain is subjective and self-reported, and diagnosis and treatment depend on the assumption that the person reporting symptoms is beyond doubt.The oft-cited study “The Girl Who Cried Pain: A Bias Against Women in the Treatment of Pain” found that women were less likely to receive aggressive treatment when diagnosed, and were more likely to have their pain characterized as “emotional,” “psychogenic” and therefore “not real.”Instead of appropriate care for physical pain, this can lead to treatment for mental health issues that might not even exist. The situation is further complicated by the fact that antidepressants are absorbed differently in women and vary in effectiveness, depending on hormonal cycles.The routine attribution of abdominal pain from conditions like appendicitis or gastrointestinal disease to gynecological problems can also delay or complicate the diagnostic process. A 2008 study published in the journal Academic Emergency Medicine, designed to gauge gender disparities among emergency room patients complaining of abdominal pain, found that even after adjusting for race, class and triage assessment, women were still 13 to 25 percent less likely than men to receive high-strength “opioid” pain medication. Those who did get opioid pain relievers waited an average of 16 minutes longer to receive them.” The Gender Gap in Pain
I find the stigma to be rather amusing it a bitter sort of way since I have certainly encountered it. What is amusing is that doctors seem to believe woman are exaggerating their pain because we are such ’emotional’ creatures or are so very ‘stressed’… when in reality what they are actually saying by not treating our pain is that we apparently are stronger than men and have insane pain tolerances because we don’t need any treatment for the same ailments. See the irony. Not funny but funny.