Pain has always been a part of women's health experiences, inherent to such physiologic processes as menstrual cramping, labor contractions, and uniquely female illnesses, such as cervical or ovarian cancer. However, the understanding of pain—its nature, its purpose, and its sometimes debatable need for removal—remains elusive. Pain's origins are in the physical realm, but it is manifested through an array of psychological, social, and cultural factors. The concept of pain is explored using an evolutionary approach to understanding the mechanisms associated with the physiologic, psychological, developmental, and sociocultural aspects of this phenomenon. The relevance of this exploratory look at pain as it relates to offering health care to women is discussed. The manner in which pain affects individuals and the methods with which it can be treated are critical elements in the provision of quality health care.