May is Women’s Health Month, a time to both celebrate women and to shine a light on the health issues that specifically affect them.
One area that is often overlooked? Women are disproportionately impacted by exposure to opioids. A recent report found that women ages 40-59 are prescribed more opioids than any other age group and receive twice as many opioid prescriptions as their male counterparts, putting them at increased risk for opioid dependence and addiction. While there are effective non-opioid options available to help manage pain following common women’s health procedures (e.g., C-sections, breast reconstruction, etc.) research shows that patients are often unaware and don’t discuss these options with their doctor. In fact, a survey found that 84% of women have concerns about being prescribed or taking opioids, but 67% still took them to manage pain after surgery.