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THE GENDER PAIN GAP: WHY WOMEN'S PAIN MATTERS LESS


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Photo: Action Vance/Unsplash

Have you ever felt your pain is being ignored or taken less seriously than it should be? You are not alone. Studies show women's pain is often undertreated and undervalued, from migraines to post-surgery recovery,


Nurofen's national Gender Pain Gap Index Report, reveals the extent of the gender pain bias women in Australia experience every day and the impact it has on their lives.   


The report, highlighting findings from a survey among 2,040 Australian adults, reveals a national Gender Pain Gap - where over half (55%) of women surveyed feel that they have had their pain ignored or dismissed compared to just 48% of men.


What’s more, almost a third of women (32%) who felt their pain was ignored or dismissed believed this was because their GP didn’t take their pain seriously, compared to just one-fifth of men (20%).

Significantly, more women than men surveyed also think the reason they haven’t received a diagnosis yet for their pain or is taking longer to receive a diagnosis is due to the Gender Pain Gap (44% of women vs 24% of men).


According to the Australian adults surveyed who believe the gap exists, the top factors contributing to the gap include: women are not always taken as seriously because they’re viewed as ‘emotional’ (49%) and women are expected to naturally suffer pain, for instance period pain or childbirth (46%).


Crucially, the research shows pain is having a greater impact on many aspects of daily life for women compared to men - for example, for those who experience pain, 56% of women report it has negatively affected their mood, compared with 42% of men; 32% of women say their pain stops them from working, versus 23% of men; and 39% of women state that their pain impacts their social life compared with 27% of men.


Only 57% of women found it easy to explain the pain they experienced to their healthcare provider, compared with 65% of men


It is therefore unsurprising that of those who experience pain, twice the number of women than men have not tried to seek a diagnosis for the pain they experience (14% of women vs 6% of men).


Sarah White, CEO of Jean Hailes for Women’s Health, said: “Shining a light on the Gender Pain Gap is crucial to closing it.


"Research shows it’s taking women longer to get a diagnosis and treatment for their pain which is adversely impacting their lives.


"It is simply unacceptable that when some women are in pain they are not being provided the care they need when they need it, and prompt action is needed to change this."

” 



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