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Treating Pain in Women

Do doctors take women’s pain less seriously than men’s pain? Unfortunately, research indicates this is true in many instances.

Perhaps you’ve had your own experience with this before: a doctor who’s misdiagnosed you, dismissed your pain as being “in your head,” or provided you with pain medication far too late in your treatment – or even the wrong type of medication altogether. By being a well-informed patient, you can better advocate for yourself and the treatment you need.

Gender Bias in Pain Management

Healthcare providers sometimes dismiss women’s pain by attributing their symptoms to psychological factors such as stress. At best, this is short-sighted. At worst, it’s gender-biased – a well-documented phenomenon in scientific literature. And while it’s true that social and psychological factors can exacerbate the perception of pain, this is not a phenomenon unique to women.

The result of biased treatment is that women are often misdiagnosed and become so frustrated that they don’t seek the help they truly need.

How to Talk To Your Doctor About Pain

Knowing how to communicate what you’re feeling to your doctor is an important part of self-advocacy. Here a few helpful tips you can use to feel more confident when discussing pain with your provider:

  • Use descriptive words, like “shooting,” “stabbing,” “searing,” or “burning,” that accurately describe what you feel.
  • Keep a pain diary, noting when the pain feels better or worse, what makes it better or worse, and so on.
  • Explain how pain impacts your activities of daily life.
  • Talk to your doctor about your concerns surrounding gender disparities in pain management.

We Understand

At Center for Pain Management, we strive to be different. Our experienced pain management specialists listen to female patients and take their concerns seriously. Call us today to schedule your consultation: (317) 706-7246.

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