Respondents aged 16 to 17 (2%) and 18 to 19, 20 to 24, and 25 to 59 (each 4%) were the least likely to say they have enough information on gynaecological conditions, rising to 25% of those aged 80 or above. 7% of respondents in the mixed or multiple ethnic group said they have enough information on the menopause, rising to 14% of black respondents . Given that it is part of a healthcare professional’s role to discuss health-related issues with their patients, we were interested to explore whether comfort levels with this group varied according to other protected characteristics held by respondents.
We also heard from a small number of respondents who self-reported as health or care professionals and echoed these reflections. They called for more diversity in the research profession and career support for women researchers. Overall, 53% of women felt that their current or previous workplace had been supportive with regards to health issues; 27% said their workplace had been unsupportive; while 20% said they don’t know.
The second branch of medicine that could be used to sometimes control the symptoms is hormonal control, so this would involve typically using the combined oral contraceptive pill in a continuous fashion. We are frequently asked, are there any treatments available for endometriosis and the answer is yes, definitely. So as you can imagine, if a patient turns up at the General Practitioner’s office, it can be really very difficult for a GP to say, well you have got endometriosis and this is how we are going to manage it. So in order to achieve a diagnosis of endometriosis the gold standard is something called a laparoscopy.
Women’s Health Concern recognises that patients have diverse gender identities. In our publications, literature, and other printed and digital materials, WHC uses the word “woman” (and the pronouns “she” and “her”) to describe patients or individuals whose sex assigned at birth was female, whether they identify as female, male, or non-binary. A new Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy is expected in 2021, following the publication in 2019 of the Framework for sexual health improvement in England which sets out the Government’s ambitions for improving sexual health outcomes. While poverty is an important barrier to positive health outcomes for both men and women, poverty tends to yield a higher burden on women and girls’ health due to, for example, feeding practices and use of unsafe cooking fuels .” .
This has meant that not enough is known about conditions that only affect women, or about how conditions that affect both men and women impact women in different ways. Pregnant women and women of childbearing age are also under-represented in clinical trials, which can create troubling gaps in data and understanding. It will run for a period of 14 weeks and is open to everyone aged 16 and over.
For example, to support work on the government’s commitment to make the NHS the best place in the world to give birth, in September 2020, I established a Maternity Inequalities Oversight Forum. This forum brings together experts from key stakeholders to consider and address the inequalities for women and babies from different ethnic backgrounds and socio-economic groups. We also welcome written submissions from individuals or organisations who have expertise in women’s health, such as researchers and third-sector organisations. The Scottish Government has produced a Women’s Health Plan aiming to reduce health inequalities for women and girls. With 15 methods to choose from, you can find one that suits you and your lifestyle best. Some women may require specific help to manage symptoms such as heavy bleeding and pelvic pain.
That you can feel very optimistic about menopause care now and in the future. However, there are a handful of conditions that may affect your ability to take hormones. So it is important that you have a full consultation with your doctor before you take any medication. Your doctor may suggest you consider HRT if your symptoms of the menopause interfere with your daily life.
The Women’s Health forum is committed to equality, diversity and inclusivity. We use the term women because it represents the majority of our work, and we absolutely acknowledge gender identity in the work that we do and understand this term may not be applicable to all our members. The Forum committee are currently working on a new clinical page focusing on Inclusion and Diversity in Women’s Health Care. This is a vibrant, practical Celebration of Black womanhood, a networking event that is suitable for women of African heritage who are leading professionals.