The Government has published a report summarising responses from 436 organisations and experts in women’s health

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A total of 436 organisations and experts in women’s health—including from the charity sector, academia, professional bodies, clinicians, and royal colleges—responded to a call for evidence to inform the government’s approach to tackling gender health inequality.

The insight is in addition to nearly 100,000 responses from individuals, which together will inform the upcoming Women’s Health Strategy to create a healthcare system that prioritises care on the basis of clinical need, not gender.

Topics highlighted were:

  • menstrual health and gynaecological conditions, including the impact of premenstrual syndrome on someone’s quality of life
  • fertility, pregnancy, pregnancy loss, and maternal health, including women not feeling listened to during and after pregnancy and the provision of bereavement support services
  • menopause, including suggestions for improvements in training and guidelines for healthcare professionals
  • gynaecological and other cancers, including barriers to accessing high-quality, up-to-date information on risk factors for female cancers
  • mental health, including its interaction with other health conditions across women’s lives
  • healthy ageing, including the need to increase focus on the health needs of older women and emphasise that women may experience the same conditions as men in different ways
  • violence against women and girls, including the complications associated with hymenoplasty and barriers to accessing healthcare support for those who have been subject to years of violence and abuse.

Minister for Women’s Health, Maria Caulfield, said: ‘For generations, women have lived in a healthcare system primarily designed by men, for men. We are committed to tackling the gender health gap, and the publication of our strategy later this year will mark a significant step forward.

‘I want to thank the expert individuals and organisations who took the time to respond to our call for evidence. The insights you have provided have been stark and sobering, but will be pivotal to ensuring our strategy represents the first-hand experiences of the healthcare system.’

The call to evidence ran from March to June 2021 and generated 110,123 responses. The Women’s Health Strategy will be published later this year.

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