International Women’s Day 2024: Living with chronic pain

Today and every day, we’re standing with all women who are saying ‘enough is enough’ to chronic pain and discomfort.

Women are often forced to accept pain as the norm while many feel ignored or that their pain is disregarded during medical appointments. According to a 2023 report by the Wellbeing of Women and Neurofen, 56% of women feel that healthcare professionals ignore or dismiss their pain. Furthermore, 48% of all adults believe that there is a discrepancy in the identification and treatment of pain between genders.

In this blog post, we discuss how medical cannabis could be a life-changing option for women who feel like traditional medication and treatments haven’t worked for them.

International Women's Day-Chronic Pain in women

The gender pain gap: What is it?

The ‘gender pain gap’ is a type of discrimination in healthcare where unconscious medical bias results in women’s pain being disregarded as a normal part of being a woman or as a matter of little significance. Their conditions are viewed as being of less importance while they are also less likely to receive medical assistance.

In the UK alone, 28 million people are currently suffering from chronic pain, 79% of which are women. A report in the Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics found that women’s pain is often taken less seriously than men’s, and they receive less aggressive treatment for it. This is especially prevalent in conditions such as endometriosis, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), or menopause.

What do the statistics reveal about women experiencing pain?

1 in 10 women of reproductive age in the UK suffer from endometriosis, with it taking an average of up to 8 years from the onset of symptoms to get a diagnosis. And 18% of women with endometriosis say they have experienced debilitating pain for three to five years.

5-8% of women in the UK suffer from premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), with reports stating that the strict diagnostic criteria could be leaving many women undiagnosed and in need of better support and care.

International Women's Day - Chronic pain treatment

There are currently 13 million women in the UK who are perimenopausal or menopausal, which is equivalent to a third of the entire UK female population. Furthermore, 1 in 10 women have had to quit their jobs due to the debilitating physical and mental symptoms of menopause.

This is further supported by Mamedica’s data which reveals that 55% of women have lived with a chronic health condition for over five years and are yet to find a remedy that helps manage their debilitating symptoms.

These statistics reveal an urgent need for change in women’s healthcare. The lack of medical research into pain experienced by women and the underlying gender biases within society have left many women feeling helpless and unable to manage the symptoms of their conditions.

How can medical cannabis help support women?

Medical cannabis can help provide relief to women grappling with various gynaecological conditions such as endometriosis, menopause, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).


International Women's Day - chronic pain remedies

Patients with endometriosis, characterised by severe pelvic pain, inflammation, and fertility challenges, can experience relief through the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids such as THC.

For menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and insomniaCBD could help regulate hormonal imbalances and improve sleep quality.

Women experiencing PMDD, a severe form of premenstrual syndrome, could benefit from the mood-stabilising effects of medical cannabis, potentially easing stress and anxiety.

With 25% of women stating they have tried at least three types of medications but have still not found an effective remedy, a holistic medical regime incorporating medical cannabis can help provide relief from debilitating symptoms when traditional medications have failed.

Am I eligible for treatment?

Your pain deserves to be taken seriously. Our specialist doctors work with you to understand your symptoms and needs and craft a personalised treatment plan that manages your condition effectively.

We support patients living with various conditions in areas such as pain management, psychiatry, neurology, palliative care, and cancer. Discover the conditions we support here.

To be eligible for medical cannabis, you must have tried two types of medication, treatments, or therapies that have been ineffective.

To find out if medical cannabis could be an option for you, a loved one, or a patient, take our eligibility test in under 60 seconds.