Proven: Women suffer more pain than men do
Have you ever felt like you have a seemingly low pain threshold compared to your dad, bro, hubbie or bf?
Well, it’s not all in your head.
According to new research published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, women actually feel pain more than men do.
Yes, it’s been proven (and we’re pretty unimpressed about it, tbh).
In addition to suffering the most hard-core pain there is (aka childbirth), research has found we’re also more likely to suffer chronic pain than most blokes.
But whyyy [insert all of the crying emojis]? Well, scientists used to blame ‘social and cultural factors’ and the influence of male and female hormones.
But according to the new research, the way males and females process pain is actually different, with women feeling pain more intensely than men – so much so that it may one day lead to targeted ‘his ‘n’ hers’ painkillers. Yikes.
So far, the study’s only observed male and female mice, but scientists believe the result is likely to be the same in humans, too. Sighhh.
Speaking to dailymail.co.uk, professor of pain studies and co-author of the study Jeffrey Mogill says, “the assumption has always been that the wiring of how pain is processed is the same in both sexes.
“The realisation that the biological basis for pain between men and women could be so fundamentally different raises important research and ethical questions if we want to reduce suffering.”
To explain the research simply, Professor Mogill and his team studied the long-standing theory that pain is transmitted from the site of injury or inflammation through the nervous system by an immune system cell called microglia.
But the research showed this was actually only the case in male mice.
This meant that interfering with the function of microglia in a variety of ways effectively blocked pain in the male mice, but had no effect in female mice (*sad face*).
According to the researchers, a completely different type of immune cell, called T cells, was responsible for “sounding the pain alarm” in female mice.
So we have an alarm, at least.
While I’m all for embracing the joy that is womanhood, the extra pain thing seems pretty unfair.
But I also think we’re tough enough to handle it – amirite, ladies?
Do you have a high or low pain threshold? What do you think of the new research?