It's Not Just Reproductive Pain That Affects Women More
Fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), migraines and some auto-immune diseases are also more common among women than men. Likely reasons include genetic and biologic differences such as gender variations in anatomy, immune function and neurological function. “Pain is inherently multidimensional. There’s a sensory piece involving activation of the nervous system, an affective piece with an emotional component and a cognitive piece involving a set of beliefs and thoughts about what pain is from and what you think will happen as a result of it,” Dr. Portenoy explains. Women’s bodies and brains have different ways of handling these components, which can increase susceptibility to chronic pain disorders.