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Eur J Pain. 2004 Oct;8(5):465-72.

Visceral pain: gender differences in response to experimental and clinical pain.

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Laboratory for Experimental Pain Research, Department of Health Science and Technology, Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction, Aalborg University, Fredrik Bajers Vej 7, D3, DK-9220 Aalborg, Denmark.


Gender differences in response to visceral pain have important implications for experimental studies and when evaluating clinical pain. Few studies have in details explored specific gender differences in response to experimental stimulation of selected visceral organs or specific visceral diseases. Lower pain threshold to e.g. oesophageal distension has however been shown in females. The effect of female sex hormones on visceral function and pain is studied in greater details in both experimental and clinical studies. Pronounced differences in pain sensitivity are found across the menstrual phases. This may also interact with pharmacological interventions. For clinicians assessing the pain level of female patients in the reproductive age group should take into consideration the physiological and clinical effects of the menstrual cycle and the somatic segmental sites related to the uterus and cervix when clinically evaluating the pain and assessing for disease activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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