Do Women Feel More Pain More Intensely than Men?

Posted on January 12, 2021

Many people believe that women have a higher threshold for pain because they can endure childbirth. To some degree this may be true, because the female body is designed to release certain hormones that act as pain-blockers of sorts during the birthing process, so the mother’s perception of the pain may be diminished.

But overall, studies are finding overwhelming evidence that women do, in fact, experience more pain than men… even if only perceived.

Since pain is subjective to each individual, it’s difficult to determine whether the pain reported by one research subject is actually greater in intensity than that of another, male or female. However, a common result across most studies has been a significantly higher number of females reporting greater levels of pain than men. The consistency of this difference is enough to indicate that the findings are valid, even if we don’t fully the exact reason for the discrepancies.

There are many factors that may contribute to how pain is perceived by women versus men, either physically or psychologically.

From a biological standpoint, there are differences between women and men that could account for these findings. For instance:

  • Studies have found that the female body has a more intense natural response to painful stimuli, indicating a difference between genders in the way pain systems function.
  • A greater nerve density present in women may cause them to feel pain more intensely than men.
  • The fluctuating nature of female hormones may amplify the body’s perception of pain. For instance, when estrogen levels are low during the menstrual cycle or after menopause, pain receptor activity is elevated, which in turn causes the body to feel more pain.
  • Women have a greater risk for many chronic pain-causing conditions, particularly during their reproductive years, and therefore report pain with more frequency than men.

From a psychological perspective, it is also known that women and men are ‘wired’ differently, and this may contribute to the perception of pain, however great or slight.

Additionally, conditions such as anxiety and depression, which are reported in greater numbers in women, may exacerbate the effects of painful conditions, even if the pain itself hasn’t actually intensified.

Some theories even suggest that because women are more mindful of how they feel physically, they may simply notice the pain more than men do.

While studies have not yet pinpointed an exact reason for the contrast between the female and male pain experience, it is apparent that this difference does indeed exist. Each individual — of either sex — perceives and reacts to pain in their own way.

If you’re experiencing pain that inhibits your ability to perform daily activities and robs your quality of life, regardless of your gender, it is worthwhile to consult with a qualified pain doctor to determine how to reduce or eliminate your pain.


If You’re in Chronic Pain, We Can Help.

At Riverside Pain Physicians, we take a customized approach to providing individualized care for each of our patients. Our highly skilled, board-certified pain physicians take all aspects of the patient into consideration; gender, age, lifestyle, medical history and more.

Whether you’re a woman in her 40’s or a man in his 60’s, our multidisciplinary methods for diagnosing and treating chronic pain may help to reduce or eliminate your suffering to restore your quality of life.

If you’ve had enough and want to find options for relief from your chronic pain, contact Florida Pain Relief Centers today at 904-389-1010 or visit to set up a consultation at one of our clinics.

Tags: Chronic Pain Treatment, Chronic Pain Treatment Jacksonville, Pain Management Jacksonville, pain treatment, pain treatment jacksonville