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The Gender Pain Gap: The Science Inside

Watch Reckitt's Medical and Science leaders talk about our perception of women’s pain and how we can tackle unconscious bias in the first of our Science Inside content series hosted by Dr Radha Modgil. Scroll down to watch the discussion.

09 May 20242 minute read

Pain – we all experience it differently.

In fact, 1 in 6 women experience severe pain every day1, and Women are in pain more often and more severely than men2.

The Gender Pain Gap refers to the phenomenon in which pain in women is more poorly understood and more mistreated compared to pain in men due to systemic gaps and biases.

The UK Government stated in its recent Women’s Health Strategy: a ‘male as default’ approach exists in research and clinical trials, which means less is known about pain conditions that predominantly affect women or about how conditions affect men and women differently.

But more needs to be done to understand women’s pain and how as a society, we can overcome the barriers to how women experience pain.

The Science Inside

Dr. Radha Modgil leads a discussion on the Gender Pain Gap, our perception of women’s pain and how we can tackle unconscious basis when it comes to talking about how women experience pain.

“30 to 40% of adolescents miss school because of period pain, and missing education because of their period pain.” Lynsey Peers, R&D Director

Joining Dr Modgil for this conversation are four of our Medical experts and Scientists: Bill Laughey, GP and Senior Medical Scientist, Flora Cheng, Medical Affairs Scientist, Lynsey Peers, R&D Director and Riz Mohammed, Medical Affairs Manager.

“Women get more pain than men – we know that’s true for chronic pain.”
Bill Laughey, GP and Senior Medical Scientist

Nurofen’s Gender Pain Gap Index Report revealed that women are waiting longer for a diagnosis than men, for the same type of pain.

In response, Nurofen launched a Pain Pass helping track pain and symptoms and empowering women to deal with HCP bias and get the right support, diagnosis and treatment.

Find out more the Gender Pain Gap and read our report.


1.GPG Index Survey References Document (26.08.2022 16.00GMT)
2.Hoffmann, Diane E. and Tarzian, Anita J., “The Girl Who Cried Pain: A Bias Against Women in the Treatment of Pain” (2001). Faculty Scholarship. 145.https://digitalscommons.law. umaryland.edu/fac_pubs/145