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Why Do Women Feel the Cold More than Men?

They switch off the air conditioning during a heat wave, wear three layers of clothing, wear thick socks and still complain that they feel cold.   2007-05-16

It is one of the most common reasons for spats between couples. He is sweating bullets while she is wrapped in a number of layers of clothing, switches off the air conditioning and tries to warm her chilly hands.

So, why is it that women feel the cold more?


Indeed, women in their fertile years do feel the cold more, for a number of reasons. The first has to do with the thyroid gland, which is located in the center of the neck and is responsible for the body’s metabolism. For some reason, women’s thyroid gland works at a relatively low rate, thus they are closer to a condition of sub-operation (hypothyroidism).

The result is that women’s metabolic processes are less accelerated than those of men. That is why, for example, women lose weight more slowly when dieting. And it is also the reason for their lower body temperature. In most cases medical tests will find no problem. In fact, it is not a matter of being ill, rather a difference in the regulation of the thyroid gland’s activity.

Lower blood pressure

A second reason for women’s feelings of cold stems from their lower blood pressure. It is not unusual to find women with blood pressure levels of 90/50, which would be considered very low in most men. Blood pressure levels such as this are caused by expansion of the body’s blood vessels, which in turn causes the body to lose heat and brings on a subsequent feeling of cold.

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Lower muscle mass

Lower muscle mass is the third reason for lower body heat in women. Higher muscle mass contributes to higher energetic production in the body, which leads to the creation of heat.

Body hair also contributes to body heat retention. Men’s body hair creates a sort of protective layer which traps body heat, keeping it “close”, rather than allowing it to dissipate. Women’s body heat dissipates more easily due to lack of perspiring.

But this situation is reversed in mid life. Around the age of 45 women experience hot flashes and frequent blushing due to a lack of the hormones estrogen and testosterone. Thus, one may possibly find them switching on the air conditioner or simply fanning themselves constantly, even on a day that is not particularly warm.

So what does one do? It is possible, of course, to plead persistently with your partner to develop her muscles in the gym or to convince her not to remove the hair from her body, but it is clear that a woman who feels cold is preferable to a hot but hairy and muscular one. In any case, it will pass by menopause.