Chapter 45 - Beyond sex and gender differences: The case for women's health research

Elsevier, Principles of Gender-Specific Medicine, Fourth Edition, 2023, pp 699-711
Galea L.A.M., Lee B.H., de leon R.G., Rajah M.N., Einstein G.

Women are more likely to be misdiagnosed and suffer the adverse effects of new therapeutics compared to men. These types of findings were the impetus for mandates from funding agencies for the inclusion of sex and gender in medical research. Although there has been heightened inclusion of sex and gender in research over the last 10 years, there has been a lack of dissemination of sex and/or gender effects. Furthermore, the study of women's health has other considerations that cannot be fully researched when solely engaging in studies with men and women participants. Women's health includes how female-unique experiences contribute to health and disease risk. This chapter explores implementation issues surrounding the addition of sex and gender in health research, the history of how women's health was conflated with the field of sex and gender in medical research, and finally, the evidence that female-unique experiences, pregnancy, menstrual cycling, and menopause, affect women's corporeal health.