How and Why Do Men and Women Experience Pain Differently

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Pain perception and experience is different in the two sexes. Women are known to feel more pain than men even if the pain precipitator is the same. As men feel some little distress from pain, women tend to feel a lot of distress. Why are women infiltrated by pain more than men even if the stimuli are the same? Here are several reasons to understand that fact.

The Nerve Density

For one to feel pain, the stimuli must be picked by nociceptors. Nociceptors like pain nerves that sense any pain stimuli and sends it to the brain for processing. Women nociceptors are more sensitive compared to men nociceptors. As if that is not enough, the female nociceptors are more in number and distribution compared to male nociceptors. Men may not perceive the same intensity of stimuli as the female perceive and this is what brings the variation in pain strength.

Processing of the Pain is Different

The brain processes pain stimuli before sending messages for motor response. With the increased pain nerve density in women, pain processing is done very quickly and intense making the female perceive it as a lot of pain. Men may not even take it seriously because they have a relatively lower nerve density to process the pain signals from the nerves.

Self-Awareness in Women is Intense

Since their young age, women can tell their body changes before any menstrual period. They have a deep self-awareness compared to men. Men may even fail to realize that they have pain in one of their body parts. Even with a small illness, females normally visit the hospital but for men, the illness needs to be a bit bothering them to visit the hospital. Owing to that extreme self-awareness, women experience a lot of pain compared to men even when the stimuli are the same.

Hormonal Differences in the Two Genders

Women have a lot of hormones compared to men. Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are some of the hormones found in women. These hormones and pain impulses have the same receptors in the brain. This means men only have testosterone receptors that feel the pain while women have all the receptors for the three hormones. Such factors cause increased pain in women than in men. Another research found that testosterone is anti-nociceptive. Men have a lot of this hormone compared to women.

Believes and Stigma

It is believed that women are weaker than men both physically and emotionally.  For this reason, they tend to feel a lot of pain compared to men. Once a woman gets a pain stimulus, they experience severe pain due to their emotional weakness. They tend to experience post-traumatic stress disorder due to the fact they can’t let go of painful moments in their lives. Men are easy to forget painful instances so they can’t experience post-traumatic stress disorder.


These differences do not mean that women are weaker than men. It also doesn’t mean that men don’t experience pain. This is just a biological and social difference but ideally speaking, pain is worse to anyone. Psychological support is necessary for all men and women who experience pain because it can escalate matters into depression. Both genders deserve chronic pain management tips to overcome any stressful moments. Pain is debilitating on both genders especially chronic pain. It should be the responsibility of every person to stay away from pain stimulating factors unless they are unavoidable. Pain in women is severely perceived so it can be highly traumatizing compared to men.