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Normal or Not Normal?


What is a normal level of pain?

Pain is subjective, so there is no perfect universal way to measure it. Many people have been to their doctors about pelvic pain, only to be told “it’s women’s lot to suffer”. Our pain is so often ignored and downplayed. 


Biology, psychology, social factors and cultural beliefs all influence our experiences of pain and how it is perceived by others. 

Factors that affect pain include:



In the past, research mostly focused on men. Reasons included genuine concerns about the risk to potential pregnancies when testing new drugs, but it was also thought women were ‘too complex’. Rather than try to understand this complexity it was easier just to exclude them.

pain? what pain?

paracetamol sorted me out

i could go about my day but i didn’t feel good about it

i couldn’t get out of bed or leave the house

 i passed out. i literally thought i was dying. literally.

had a cry on my way in to work


How can you measure pain?

Pain is a subjective experience influenced by factors that can change from day to day. Can it really be quantified? 


Pain scales can sometimes make patients’ lives more difficult - if you go to the doctor and say your pain is a 7, and if last week it was an 8, the doctor may take this as a sign to stop helping as it appears to be improving, even though 7 is still an extremely high pain score.


Endometriosis is associated with many different types of pain. Useful questions for doctors and researchers are things like ‘how unpleasant is the pain?’, ‘is the pain like shooting, stabbing, aching, dull or something else?’, ‘where is the pain?’, ‘does it travel?’, ‘what does the pain interfere with?’

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