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Revista Brasileira de Anestesiologia

Print version ISSN 0034-7094


PALMEIRA, Cláudia Carneiro de Araújo; ASHMAWI, Hazem Adel  and  POSSO, Irimar de Paula. Sex and Pain perception and analgesia. Rev. Bras. Anestesiol. [online]. 2011, vol.61, n.6, pp.820-828. ISSN 0034-7094.

Sex is an important factor in painful experience modulation. Large volume of evidence shows that experience is different for males and females, as well as the answer to some classes of analgesics. Laboratory experiments suggest that women have a lower pain threshold than men related to pain from noxious stimuli such as heat, cold, pressure and electrical stimulation. Pain is a dynamic phenomenon under the influence of various mechanisms of excitatory and inhibitory control. The differences in pain perception related to sex may be associated with hyperalgesia in women, but also to the hypoactivity of the inhibitory system of pain in females. The purpose of this review besides showing some relationship for gonadal hormones, central nervous system and pain is to provide reference points for the discussion of one of the most intriguing aspects of the pathophysiology of pain: the differences in the presence of painful stimuli related to gender.

Keywords : Sex Factors; Pain; Gonadal Steroid Hormones.

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