M1A2: Web Exercise: Women’s Health Research
(2 pages and 1 page of what she says it has to
be excluded, so 3 pages in total)
There are four Web exercises in this course, each requiring you to submit a
paper. In each exercise, you will need to either visit a website that is listed or
select one on your own and answer the questions given in the instructions.
Web Exercise #1 is due at the end of Module 1 and focuses on information found
on the website of The Society of Women’s Health Research (Links to an external
site.)Links to an external site.. Follow the instructions given below to complete
1. Go to: The Society of Women’s Health Research (Links to an external site.)Links
to an external site.
2. Go to “News”
3. Click on “News Service”
4. Review “archived articles by topic”
5. Click on a condition
6. Read one or more articles regarding the sex differences for this condition
7. Prepare a 2–3 page paper based on the following structure and content:
a. A title page and a table of contents page
b. An introduction that identifies the condition you have selected
c. A background section that briefly discusses the important points on that
condition and how men and women differ with respect to the condition.
d. An analysis that ties course material to a discussion on how society views the
condition itself as well as similarities and differences in perceptions of how
men and women contract and cope with the condition.
For example, “pain” is one of the conditions listed in the table. A common
stereotype exists that women handle pain better than men—consider the
typical comment that “if men had to endure the pain of childbirth, there would
be fewer babies in the world.” On the other hand, men who react strongly to
pain from injuries are often chided with comments, such as “take it like a man”
or “don’t be a sissy.” These comments can be tied back to the readings
through sex and gender stereotypes and differences.
e. A conclusion that summarizes the main points of your findings and reflect on
what information, if any, surprised you in reading about the condition you
f. A reference section that lists the website and the course material you used in
preparing this assignment. Be sure to cite sources within your paper, using
correct APA formatting.
Your work should be submitted in a Word document, 2–3 pages in length (excluding the
title, the table of contents, and the references pages), typed double-space in 10- or 12-
point Arial or Times New Roman font. The page margins on the top, bottom, left side,
and right side should be 1 inch each. Use APA guidelines for citing and referencing
See the Course Calendar for due dates.
Keep the following points in mind:
The answers are complete and accurate.
Pertinent examples are given wherever necessary to better explain concepts.
Women’s Health Research: Migraines
A migraine is a headache which results in a sensation of intense throbbing in a particular area of the head. A migraine may be accompanied by symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, and a sensitivity to sound or light (Marcus, 2003). Migraine headaches are usually very painful and last for four to seventy-two hours. However, a migraine headache may last for a number of days. Migraine attacks vary in frequency from one person to another. There are people who experience migraines once in a month, others experience them twice a month or more frequently. It is estimated that more than 36 million American citizens are affected by migraines. The actual number of people is actually higher since there are many people who have not been diagnosed or who do not visit health facilities for diagnosis. According to the Migraine Trust, migraines are the third most common disease in the world. The organization reports that approximately fifteen percent of the entire world population is affected by migraines.
The exact cause of migraines is not known. However, medical research has suggested that environmental and genetic factors play a role in causing migraines. Changes in the human trigeminal nerve, responsible for mediating pain, and the brain stem have also been linked to migraines. There is also a possibility that chemical imbalances may be involved (Marcus, 2003). There are a number of medical conditions that are associated with migraines. For instance, anxiety and depression have, over the years, been associated with a migraine. According to the American Migraine Foundation, twenty-five percent of people with depression suffer from migraines and fifty percent of them have anxiety. Several studies have shown that the frequency of migraines is associated with the severity of anxiety and depression. During migraine attacks, the levels of serotonin drop, which causes the trigeminal system to produce neuropeptides, substances which cause headaches. Weather changes, such as changes in barometric pressure, may result in brain chemical imbalances, resulting in migraines.
Migraines affect women more than they affect men. Approximately three out of four people suffering from migraines are women (Speeding Progress in Migraine Requires Unraveling Sex Differences, n.d.). The prevalence of migraines is highest in women between the ages of 20 and 45. Women are three times more likely to suffer from migraines as compared to men. It is a common notion that migraines are predominantly a female illness, especially because women are usually more vocal about the condition and living with it. Many of the people who are advocates of migraines and chronic pain are women. In the online migraine support groups and forums, the people who largely contribute to discussions using posts are mostly women. The gender divide in migraine prevalence was investigated by scientists using an application known as ‘Migraine Buddy’ (Vo et al., 2018). More than 100,000 people suffering from migraines were investigated in the study. Statistics showed that women suffer from migraines that are more severe, in terms of pain, frequency, and length.
According to the research conducted, women suffered approximately seven migraine attacks in a month while men suffered approximately six migraines in a month. The scientists also investigated the intensity of pain suffered during a migraine attack. On a scale of 1-10, the study found a score of 5 for men and 6 for women (Vo et al., 2018). The perception that women usually have a low threshold to pain is the major reason why migraines are perceived to be a women’s illness (Speeding Progress in Migraine Requires Unraveling Sex Differences, n.d.). When the belief that females have a low tolerance to pain is put together with the tendency of males to tolerate pain so as to appear macho, it becomes easy to explain why the illness is considered a women’s illness. The Migraine Trust, a charity based in the United Kingdom, reported that men have a tendency of struggling on with illnesses. Some men even consider showing illness as a sign of weakness.
Even though it is often thought that women tend to have a low tolerance for pain and men tend to ‘hide’ their pain, these beliefs have been supported by research. The Stanford Hospital and Clinics conducted research on the level of pain that women and men report having suffered when experiencing migraine attacks (Ruau et al., 2012). The study found a distinct difference between the pain levels reported by men and women. Women reported higher levels of pain as compared to men in various diseases. This distinction can be explained using the hormonal differences that exist between men and women. Estrogen has the capability of elevating the levels of pain, especially during specific parts of the menstrual cycle. This may result in increased pain and discomfort. This explanation has been supported by research by the Migraine Research Foundation, which found that migraines were frequent in young boys more than in young girls, with this tendency changing after puberty when estrogen imbalances occur.
The most surprising fact for me was the fact that women actually experience more pain as compared to men, I thought that this was just a stereotype or a belief that is untrue. However, research has shown that the level of pain actually differs between men and women.
Marcus, D. (2003). Chronic headache. Headache Pain, 14, 139-144.
Ruau, D., Liu, L. Y., Clark, J. D., Angst, M. S., & Butte, A. J. (2012). Sex differences in reported pain across 11,000 patients captured in electronic medical records. The Journal of Pain, 13(3), 228-234.
Speeding Progress in Migraine Requires Unraveling Sex Differences. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2019, from https://swhr.org/speeding-progress-in-migraine-requires-unraveling-sex-differences/
Vo, P., Paris, N., Bilitou, A., Valena, T., Fang, J., Naujoks, C., … & Cadiou, F. (2018). Burden of Migraine in Europe Using Self-Reported Digital Diary Data from the Migraine Buddy© Application. Neurology and therapy, 7(2), 321-332.
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