March is Women’s History month. As people celebrate women around the world and the progression in gender equality over time and the women who have contributed in mass amounts to society, it is also important to acknowledge the steps still to be made, especially in regard to women’s health.
Health is an important part of everyone’s life, but many people say that they are reluctant to contact health professionals due to feeling like they are not heard and that the wait time for even a consultation is too long.
In response to the question, ‘do you contact a health profesional whenever you feel ill?(excluding headaches or reoccurring pain) 46.5% of women were less likely to make the contact. These were for some of the following reasons,
“They never seem to investigate, just prescribe pain killers”
“I feel a lot of the time when I used to seek medical help from professionals, my needs are disregarded so I’d rather find my own remedies”
“I just get on with it really and even when I have contacted docs they have been slow to appoint or seem to give medication without alternative options which may be better for me”
With a lot more to be done surrounding women’s health and women’s health awareness, women provided their suggestions,
“It needs to be normalised for women to talk about their issues so that no-one feels embarrassed doing. The whole population needs to be educated better as well, especially around issues like menopause”
“Women need to know that there are other women feelings the things that they are feeling”
“Start in schools. Women’s health must be taught earlier to young girls and tell girls it is not embarrassing to talk about periods, strange pains and strange discharge. They need to know that when something is wrong not to just let it pass.”
Many women in Salford are not aware of the facilities available to them. For some women this means suffering in silence and living with undiagnosed conditions. Fortunately, there are a handful of centres available
MSI Reproductive Choices is a community treatment centre on Littleton Road offers a range of support and services for women. The location can be found on this map below.
There is an array of information about the body of a woman which many women do not know. Following a survey, 79% of women were not aware that women spend around a quarter of their lives in ill health or disability. A further 91.5% did not know that the healthy life expectancy for women has fallen but has remained the same for men.
10% of women still feel shameful when it comes to talking about periods and 4.2% were unaware that every woman has a unique experience with their periods.
There are countless resources in person and online for women to learn more about their health. For more information visit the NHS website.