A report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women’s Health has highlighted numerous barriers when it comes to women’s gynaecological health.
Around 2,600 women responded to a survey on women’s health, with 43% saying they felt they were not treated with dignity and respect when it came to their gynaecological health.
62% also said they felt dissatisfied with the information they received about treatment options for fibroids and endometriosis under the NHS.
The report also found that just 16% of Trusts provide written information about Heavy Menstrual Bleeding and pelvic pain.
It was also revealed 86% of Trusts could not provide information on how many diagnostic tests would be needed for endometriosis and fibroid diagnoses.
In the report, one endometriosis patient said: “I suffered terribly trying to get an accurate diagnosis and then information on all the possible options for my treatment. At times I felt I was fighting a losing battle, my symptoms not always being believed and sometimes implications it was all in my head.”
Following the results from the survey, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women’s Health outlined recommendations to overcome the barriers:
- Information resources – women need to be offered written information on gynaecological issues with a full range of information about the condition and what their options are. These leaflets should be endorsed by the relevant clinical bodies and patients groups and the same generic, pre-approved leaflets should be made available at all centres, Trusts and gynaecology clinics.
- Endorsed best practice pathway – enabling women to be streamlined more quickly into the right care, saving money from unplanned admissions and ensuring women receive access to the correct treatment.
- Education on menstrual health in secondary schools and greater awareness – women to be equipped with more knowledge of symptoms and great awareness of what is ‘normal’. Education modules should be included at the RCGP and RCOG for recognising and treating fibroids and endometriosis.
- Multi-disciplinary teams and clinicians working together – to ensure accessibility of all treatment for women through best practice pathway.
- NICE guidance to be followed – where necessary to be followed and not variably implemented across the country as is the current situation.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women’s Health aims to empower women to ensure they receive informed choices, dignity and respect, and the best treatment.
For more information, follow @APPG_WH on Twitter.
Keep up to date with the latest research and news from MIDIRS by subscribing to our quarterly academic journal. Subscribe to MIDIRS Midwifery Digest