Whether it’s PCOS, fibroids or hormone imbalances, women and those who have periods, are sadly finding their health conditions dismissed, while also having to wait many years for answers. That is, if they get any answers at all. Jenna Farmer speaks to some of those who have struggled to get to the bottom of their period problems.
The gender pain bias
One of the reasons so many gynaecological conditions like endometriosis go undiagnosed is gender pain bias. When it comes to period problems, severe pain is sometimes explained away as being normal or is dismissed as a mere exaggeration. There’s proof that when it comes to pain, women just aren’t taken as seriously: one study found that when going to hospital with severe pain, women were less likely to be prescribed painkillers compared to men.
They were also made to wait a lot longer to see a doctor. Whilst some cramping during your period is normal, severe pain that prevents you from going about your day is not. But the problem comes when many GPs just don’t believe the pain in the first place. This can lead to lengthy delays in diagnosis, while the anxiety around not feeling believed massively impacts our mental health.