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Zyklop
Tuesday, October 25th, 2005, 06:44 PM
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Ouch! Why Women Feel More Pain

By LiveScience Staff

posted: 24 October 2005
01:42 pm ET

http://images.livescience.com/images/generic_woman_pain_01.jpg http://images.livescience.com/template_images/livescience/transpacer.gif

Women feel more pain than men, studies have shown. New research reveals one reason why.

Women have more nerve receptors, which causes them to feel pain more intensely than men, according to a report in the October issue of the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
On average, women have 34 nerve fibers per square centimeter of facial skin. Men average just 17.

"This study has serious implications about how we treat women after surgery as well as women who experience chronic pain," said Bradon Wilhelmi, a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and author of the study. "Because women have more nerve receptors, they may experience pain more powerfully than men, requiring different surgical techniques, treatments or medicine dosages to help manage their pain and make them feel comfortable."

Earlier this year, separate research found that women report more pain throughout their lifetimes (http://www.livescience.com/humanbiology/050706_pain_gender.html), in more areas of their bodies and for longer durations.

http://www.livescience.com/humanbiology/051024_women_pain.html

Blutwölfin
Tuesday, October 25th, 2005, 06:51 PM
... But men do more complain about them. At least when they have a cold, think that they're going to die and want to be nursed. :D

Constantinus
Tuesday, October 25th, 2005, 10:28 PM
... But men do more complain about them. At least when they have a cold, think that they're going to die and want to be nursed. :D

You remind me of my mother. I recovered from ebola 2 weeks ago. She was convinced it was only a cold as well.

hauer
Tuesday, October 25th, 2005, 10:47 PM
This is new to me. I read somewhere that men feel pain better/more intensive than women, because men need to feel pain and injuries on the battlefield and that can be hard when the adrenalin is pumping etc.

Do anyone know why women have more nerve receptors than men?

GreenHeart
Friday, October 28th, 2005, 01:14 PM
Well that explains some things! :)

@hauer:

Yeah I also wonder why it would be that women have more nerve receptors than men. It would be interesting to find out why it is so.

But also, it would be beneficial IMO if men didnt feel pain on the battlefield because they would fight longer and harder, even if it lead them to the death. Just think of the viking berserkers. They were said not to feel pain, and they were the most feared warriors in Europe.

Constantinus
Friday, October 28th, 2005, 01:19 PM
NP: wrong wrong wrong. Only traits which accelerate your rate of procreation survive in the genome. A man who knows when to cut his losses will survive and procreate, a dead berserker won't...

Nature doesn't care for heroism, it cares for procreation.

Arcturus
Friday, October 28th, 2005, 01:21 PM
From an evolutionary standpoint, as men can produce more children than women, it seems logical that women would be more sensitive to pain as a warning system, thusly they would avoid injuries to a larger degree and furhter secure procreation.

A tribe can 'bounce back' from having their numbers decimated with a few men and many women, but the other way around is hard.

Just an idea.

Lissu
Friday, October 28th, 2005, 02:10 PM
Pain is a fascinating issue.

One should not forget that there is several kinds of pain. There is long-term pain and short time pain, muscular pain and nervous pain. Just few to mention. A pain from a neat cut feels different than pain caused by a blunt object and so on. Nervous pain is the worst in my opinion, and long-term pain will break a person eventually, both mentally and physically. That is the scariest form of pain.

It is necessary to feel pain to avoid injuries, but sometimes it's also necessary not to feel pain, and brains have a way to shun pain when needed.

When a pain grows too horrible to stand, the brains turn the pain off. That is necessary for survival. I have once nearly lost one of my fingertips, and back then I didn't feel any pain at all until after an hour or so. But then the pain was something unbelievable... the pain radiated from my fingers to shoulder and blurred my vision, froze me totally. Fortunately that phase didn't last very long, and fingertips recover amazingly fast and well. I don't even have a visible scar in it, and the sense of feeling is perfect even if my fingertip was cut near to the bone.

There are all kinds of stories, like a man cutting trees in a remote forest cuts his hands by accident, and after that drives 50 kilometres, hand laying on the seat to the nearest hospital. If he was unable to do that, he would have bled to death. A person after a car crash crawls out of the burning car with broken limbs and spine... once again, necessary for survival.

I personally am very familiar to long-term pain, and once in the past I have gone through the breaking point. That happened after a year of suffering more or less severe pain. Then there was found a way to treat the pain off, but still it took me more than a year to recover from it, and I am still weak for certain type of pain. Pain leaves permanent marks in nervous system. I am a consumer of pain killers (not narcotic ones, thanks heavens), sometimes there is long periods without painkillers, and sometimes I need to take them on daily basis. I am also familiar to non-medical pain treating methods, and I admit being a some sort of an adrenalin- and endorphine junkie :P I truly understand why some people are addicted to extreme sports ;)

Lissu
Friday, October 28th, 2005, 02:13 PM
From an evolutionary standpoint, as men can produce more children than women, it seems logical that women would be more sensitive to pain as a warning system, thusly they would avoid injuries to a larger degree and furhter secure procreation.Again, all depends on what kind of pain there is. Child birth can be unbelievably painful, but women stand it and the body also forgets the pain pretty soon. Otherwise we would have died out thousands of years ago ;)