Endometriosis and the Gender Pain Gap
So it's my second week as columnist for Endometriosis News! This week I wrote about endometriosis and the gender pain gap. There's some shocking statistics showing just how badly women are ignored and treated in hospitals in comparison to men, and how we have to essentially prove our pain to doctors (how do you prove pain?!) before we are believed.
Here's a little excerpt from my latest column...
"I have never forgotten the moment. Lying on my back in an STI clinic, my legs up in stirrups, an older male doctor staring into my vagina. Looking up at me and shrugging, he dismissively told me, “I can’t see any reason for your pain. It’s nothing more than the niggling backache I get.” And he walked out so quickly that I didn’t even have time to ask a question or utter a response.
Recently, social media has been flooded with the story of a young girl with endometriosis who committed suicide. The details are unclear, so I wouldn’t want to assume that she took her life due to endometriosis, but she had been struggling with trying to get the right support from doctors in the past months and had been made to feel like she was exaggerating the pain for attention.
Sadly, yet I regret to say unsurprisingly, current research and other women’s stories back up her experience. Last year, The Independent reported that women with chronic pain conditions, like endometriosis, are more likely to be misdiagnosed with a mental health issue, wait longer to be seen than men in A&E, and are given lesser treatment when they finally are seen. As if that wasn’t damning enough, a study titled, “The Girl Who Cried Pain,” found that women have to prove just how sick they are before they’re treated with the same urgency and concern as men."
You can read the rest of my piece over on Endometriosis News. Let me know what you think!