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Airing Pain 108: Gender Differences

How men and women expe­ri­ence pain, arm­ing your­self with the right infor­ma­tion, and not being embar­rassed about your condition

This edition’s been part fund­ed by the Women’s Fund for Scotland.

Do women and men expe­ri­ence pain dif­fer­ent­ly, or is it only our atti­tudes towards pain that dif­fer? In this edi­tion of Air­ing Pain, Paul speaks to health­care pro­fes­sion­als about their find­ings with the lit­er­a­ture sur­round­ing chron­ic pain and the chang­ing out­looks when it comes to seek­ing help.

Deputy Direc­tor of the Bath Cen­tre for Pain Research, Pro­fes­sor Ed Keogh, speaks about his review of men’s health lit­er­a­ture in the con­text of chron­ic pain, and found that women are more like­ly to report pain in more body regions in their life­time com­pared to men. He con­sid­ers whether this is due to bio­log­i­cal or social/emotional rea­sons, but empha­sis­es that the vari­a­tion with­in males and females is much greater than the vari­a­tion between the sexes.

Can the gen­der roles soci­ety push­es on us affect how we deal with our pain? Senior clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist of the Nation­al Spe­cial­ist Pain Ser­vice in Bath Dr Gauntlett-Gilbert talks to Paul about how the soci­etal expec­ta­tions of how we han­dle pain can feed into depres­sion and guilt.

Spe­cial­ist phys­io­ther­a­pist at UCL Hos­pi­tals’ Pain Man­age­ment Cen­tre Katrine Petersen dis­cuss­es the lack of lit­er­a­ture on men’s pain, espe­cial­ly pelvic pain, as well as her expe­ri­ences in using phys­io­ther­a­peu­tic strate­gies in the con­text of chron­ic pain syndromes.

Issues cov­ered in this pro­gramme include: CBT: cog­ni­tive behav­iour­al ther­a­py, chron­ic pro­sta­ti­tis, dif­fer­ence, uro­gen­i­tal pain, pelvic pain, chron­ic pri­ma­ry pain, depres­sion, men and women, men’s pain, men­stru­a­tion, prostate can­cer, pro­sta­ti­tis, rela­tion­ships, research, sex dif­fer­ence, social fac­tors, tes­tic­u­lar pain and wom­en’s pain.


  • Dr Ed Keogh, Deputy Direc­tor of Bath Cen­tre for Pain Research, Bath University
  • Katrine Petersen, Spe­cial­ist Phys­io­ther­a­pist at Uni­ver­si­ty Col­lege Lon­don Hos­pi­tals’ Pain Man­age­ment Centre
  • Dr Jere­my Gauntlett-Gilbert, Senior Clin­i­cal Psy­chol­o­gist of the Nation­al Spe­cial­ist Pain Ser­vice in Bath.

More infor­ma­tion:


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