How Pain Affects Women vs. Men

Women stretching in the park

There’s no easy way to say this, so I’m going to jump right in.

Women are more sensitive to pain than men.

Remember, I’m just the messenger.

The truth is women and men respond differently to pain. This should come as no surprise, considering most individuals (young and old or female and male) typically experience varied symptoms, diagnosis and treatments per their conditions.

Over the years, research has determined there is no clear answer to why women feel more pain, however, it may have something to do with more nerve receptors. According to a 2005 study, an average of 34 nerve receptors per square centimeters were found on women per the 17 on men. This is something to consider as it pertains to certain types of procedures or treatments women receive to ensure minimal pain.

Now this is not to say women are not tolerant of pain, or better yet, stronger at handling pain than men. Again, it may depend on the type of pain that is being felt, how frequent and if some women are just more resilient.

There are some factors to consider in regards to how pain affects women vs. men. It’s important to note that our brains and bodies simply react differently. Men’s brains typically release endorphins that help in coping with pain. Unfortunately, this is not the case for women. Women tend to have greater nerve density — nerves in a given area — that cause severe pain.

How often do you worry about pain?

It can be a frequent occurrence for women to worry about their pain and cause them to feel helpless at times. Again, this not to say every woman feels this way. On a positive note, women have an expanded range of coping skills, which is helpful.

I wish I could say we all handle pain the same way, especially when it comes to nerve pain. The good thing is that we each have the ability to care and manage our pain levels based on our specific needs. 

Share this post