Throughout this report, we quote a selection of anonymised comments left by respondents. These comments have been selected manually to best represent and give further insight into the themes that emerged from the topic modelling. Where comments have been shortened for inclusion in this report, the omitted text is represented by an ellipsis in square brackets “[…]” – care was taken to ensure this did not misrepresent what the individual was telling us or their tone of voice.

  • Older respondents tended to feel more comfortable than younger respondents in talking to healthcare professionals about the menopause; the largest gap was 31 percentage points between those aged 18 to 19 (54%) and those aged 70 to 79 (85%).
  • For example, the health impacts of violence against women and girls featured in the top 5 topics selected by younger respondents aged 16 to 29, the mixed or multiple ethnic group, and those who identify with a gender different to their sex registered at birth.
  • This is a vibrant, practical Celebration of Black womanhood, a networking event that is suitable for women of African heritage who are leading professionals.

Work to develop the Women’s Health Strategy will consider women’s health over the life course, from adolescence through to older age. There are also differences in life expectancy across socio-economic groups. Taking action on women’s health will support our commitment to extend healthy life expectancy by 5 years by 2035. It can lead to poorer advice and diagnosis and, as a result, worse outcomes. Symptoms can often differ between men and women, and studies show some conditions, like coronary blockages, are more likely to be misdiagnosed among women than men.

Improving Access To Information And Education

The different stages in a woman’s life present both health challenges and opportunities. Waiting lists for gynaecological conditions have risen more sharply than any other specialty. A woman who suffers “debilitating” period pains hopes to set up a support group to help others. The factsheets are evidence-based and are regularly reviewed and updated by the British Menopause Society medical advisory council, providing a trusted source of information for women and their partners.

Respondents were asked if there were any aspects of healthcare women particularly struggled to access during the COVID-19 pandemic. These themes are summarised in Table 13 and discussed in more detail below. A large proportion of the personal testimonies focused on issues and conditions that are specific to women, such as heavy and painful periods, the menopause, and childbirth. Others reflected on how they have not been listened to when discussing health conditions common to both men and women, including mental ill health and musculoskeletal pain. The most common conditions mentioned by respondents are listed in Table 8 (please refer to the ‘Glossary’ at the end of this report for a brief definition of terms). Older respondents tended to feel more comfortable than younger respondents in talking to healthcare professionals about the menopause; the largest gap was 31 percentage points between those aged 18 to 19 (54%) and those aged 70 to 79 (85%).

This typically is related to the time of the month when they are having a period, but it can also occur leading up to the periods and it can occur around ovulation or even at random between periods. And I do not mean periods where the pain will be resolved by one or two paracetamol. We think it affects about one point five million women in the U.K., so approximately 10 percent of the adult female population. It is essential that every woman is looked at as an individual, assessing her symptoms and her risks with a professional to share the decision about the best treatment for them. The benefit of HRT is that it can help to ease many of these symptoms and improve your quality of life. Low oestrogen levels caused by the menopause can lead to a number of physical and emotional symptoms, including hot flushes, low libido, night sweats, brain fog, muscle and joint pains and mood swings.

‘it’s Not A Curse,’ Says Breast Cancer Survivor

Whether you’re starting your period, choosing contraception, planning for pregnancy, or managing menopause symptoms, there’s support available. The Scottish Government has produced a Women’s Health Plan aiming to reduce health inequalities for women and girls. Endometriosis is a cruel and debilitating disease that affects one in 10 women globally of reproductive age.

Key Facts About Girls And Women

Of those who told us that there have been instances where they were not listened to, 72% said this was in relation to discussing symptoms, 56% when seeking referral to a specialist, and 54% when discussing treatment options . Compared with cisgender respondents, we also found that they were 4 times more likely to select autism and neurodiversity for inclusion in the strategy, and 3 times more likely to select disability. Outside of the top 5 topics selected by each ethnic group overall, we found that black respondents were 5 times more likely than white and mixed or multiple ethnic respondents, and twice as likely as Asian respondents, to select diabetes for inclusion in the strategy.

Women spend around over a quarter of their lives in ill health or disability, compared with around one fifth for men. Moreover, in recent years, healthy life expectancy has fallen for women but has remained stable for men. The department and the government have taken a number of important steps in this area.

Finally, a lack of support for a number of specific conditions that show clear disparities in diagnosis and treatment for women compared with men, including hypothyroidism, ADHD, autism and deficiencies, was highlighted. 11% of respondents belonging to the mixed or multiple ethnic group said they have enough information on gynaecological cancers, rising to 16% of black respondents . 12% of those identifying with a gender different to their sex at birth said they have enough information on menstrual wellbeing, compared with 17% of cisgender respondents . 14% of respondents in the other ethnic group and 15% in the mixed or multiple ethnic group said they have enough information on menstrual wellbeing, rising to 20% of black respondents . There were no differences in the top 5 topics selected by respondents with and without an existing health condition or disability. Furthermore, musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis only featured in the top 5 topics for our 2 oldest age groups .