Campaign to End Chronic Pain in Women Launches May 19

By Rachel Walden |

We have written previously about the Overlapping Conditions Alliance, a group of nonprofit organizations “seeking to advance the scientific, medical and policy needs of individuals affected by medical conditions that frequently overlap.”

On May 19, the Alliance will launch the Campaign to End Chronic Pain In Women with a goal “to improve the quality of women’s lives by raising awareness of chronic pain conditions that disproportionately impact women, as well as the neglect, dismissal and discrimination faced by women suffering from chronic pain. ”

As a campaign alert explains:

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), endometriosis, fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis (IC), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), temporomandibular (TMJ) disorders and vulvodynia are just some of the conditions that have sidelined as many as 50 million lives and cost up to $80 billion each year. These four either solely affect women, or target women at least four times more often than men.

At a congressional briefing on the 19th, the Campaign will release a report on chronic pain in women. The briefing will be hosted by by Representatives Lois Capps (D-CA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), and will feature representatives of the four organizations of the Overlapping Conditions Alliance. A website for the campaign will also become available on that date; we’ll update with the link.

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9 Comments

  1. paula kamen says:

    This is so long overdue, something to really appreciate! How ironic that during the heavily Freud-influenced years of the past century, a way that doctors would “discredit” women as hysterical was if they named “too many” complaints. That raised suspicions that they were just being dramatic. (I’ve written about those women with migraine and chronic daily headache being very likely to also have other types of chronic fatigue and pain problems, due to similar underlying brain chemistry issues.)

  2. Nancy Petersen says:

    Bravo, long overdue, too long women have been dismissed as neurotic. In the years I lead the endometriosis treatment program in Bend Oregon, 75% of our patients had been dismissed as neurotic. All had significant disease missed at previous surgeries. Chronic pain may not be a terminal illness, but despair can be

  3. WhatAboutMen says:

    You do realize that these conditions also afflict men? I’ve had IBS since being a little kid and have suffered through several surgeries and hospitalizations. I am a bit insulted you think this is gender specific.

  4. Rachel says:

    As you’ll note from the paragraph above, the campaign is focused on women is because “These four either solely affect women, or target women at least four times more often than men.” That statement clearly acknowledges that men also are affected by some of the conditions, just not as frequently, although I’m sure you could pass along to the campaign any constructive suggestions for men’s involvement.

  5. WhatAboutMen says:

    Wow, talk about screwing over the minority. Just because you think that women develop IBS more often than men you decide to completely ignore our suffering and our pain? Wow….how absolutely sexist.

  6. Rachel says:

    Thanks for expressing your concern – it’s clear that you object to the focus on women in the organization’s campaign. However, please refrain from leaving multiple similar comments under different usernames.