Women's health needs still being ignored. Two more examples from Caroline Criado Perez.

(16 Posts)
334bu Mon 24-May-21 08:11:29


Why is this still happening?

OP’s posts: |
PearPickingPorky Mon 24-May-21 08:31:09

I've filled in the coil survey.

LizzieSiddal Mon 24-May-21 08:44:48

I’ve just read her email, it’s so informative.

Re the Covid Vaccines, about 70% of my female friends and family/work colleges, who have had children, have had a “bad” reaction to the vaccine. Anything from a bad headache meaning having to go to bed, to one who was bedridden for 3 days with flu like symptoms. It’s good to see Caroline talking about the research from other countries. And indeed OP, why are women still be ignored!

MissLucyEyelesbarrow Mon 24-May-21 09:02:07

Totally agree with her general points about male bodies being the default for healthcare and about women's concerns re menstrual symptoms being dismissed. Guess how much training I had in med school on any aspect of menstruation or the menopause? Yup - absolutely none. The menstrual cycle was studied only as it related to pregnancy.

However, as regards women's reactions to Covid vaccines, it's difficult to know if they are dose-related, or due to women's different - and I would say superior - immune systems. While post-Covid vaccine symptoms are unpleasant, they are also an indication that the vaccine is having the desired effect on the immune system. Counter-intuitively, a higher dose of vaccine does not necessarily produce a stronger immune reaction, so a smaller dose might actually make things worse, not better.

WarriorN Mon 24-May-21 10:24:38

Caroline is an absolute shero for continuously highlighting all this.

Guess how much training I had in med school on any aspect of menstruation or the menopause? Yup - absolutely none. The menstrual cycle was studied only as it related to pregnancy.

Disgusting. I saw an endocrinologist once who had never heard of lactational amenorrhea and thought I was dangerously ill with Addisons.

Not so far noticed a difference in period post vaccine; it's been a little erratic anyway as I'm mid 40s and breastfeeding so I think I'm doing well!

Ironically it started today after exactly 28 days, and vaccine was exactly 28 days ago. Been a tough month though with lingering AZ side effects.

PearPickingPorky Mon 24-May-21 13:01:21

Guess how much training I had in med school on any aspect of menstruation or the menopause? Yup - absolutely none. The menstrual cycle was studied only as it related to pregnancy.

This is pretty unbelievable!

334bu Mon 24-May-21 13:04:24

So diseases like endometriosis were just ignored unless relating to pregnancy?

OP’s posts: |


MissLucyEyelesbarrow Mon 24-May-21 19:55:09


So diseases like endometriosis were just ignored unless relating to pregnancy?

Yes though, to be fair, coverage of men's health issues was just as bad.

The curriculum was dominated by anatomy and physiology in excruciating detail for the first three years, and by diseases for the rest - but only really the sort of diseases that tend to get you admitted to hospital (stroke, heart attacks, cancer). Anything that happens outside a hospital ward was considered too trivial to bother about.

Sex and anything related to sex wasn't covered at all. The clitoris wasn't mentioned once - though neither was erectile dysfunction etc. I literally got most of the sex-related advice I gave to patients in the first few years of my career from Marie Claire.

334bu Mon 24-May-21 20:10:47

God, I hope things are changing in medical schools or is that just wishful thinking on my part?

OP’s posts: |
WarriorN Tue 25-May-21 07:31:37

Its not just med schools, its primarily the research structures and research scientists.

Just watched a Ted talk that described how a recent hiv drug was approved for men and transwomen but not women or transmen as it wasn't tested on any.

It also pointed out that the majority of research subjects in all trials are white males.

And how little research there's been on women's brains and dementia despite the disease being known to progress and manifest very differently.

Interestingly she used the term gender to mean gender in the original way; in terms of how gender roles impact disease. Eg CV pandemic meant more women being infected as in caring roles and jobs but deaths and severe disease was down to sex (men.)

Lost me a bit with the algorithm stuff.


UtopiaPlanitia Tue 25-May-21 12:53:09

Thanks for the link OP, I just filled in the survey on IUD experiences. I also had horribly bad headache and dizziness after my Covid jabs, as well as heavier, more painful, and earlier than expected periods so I’m glad that some investigation is going into this area but would very much prefer it if women’s bodies, immune systems and menstrual cycles were taken into account by pharma companies during the development and testing phases of new drugs.

Babdoc Tue 25-May-21 13:52:49

Which medical school was that, MissLucyeyelesbarrow?
I studied medicine at Dundee uni in the 1970’s, and we covered such topics in the gynaecology course. There was even a lecture on geriatric gynae, covering vaginal atrophy etc.
I still recall attending a presentation on homosexual intercourse, including a very twee video made in California with excruciating background music, and two gay chaps demonstrating oral sex. One of the GPs watching with us dropped his teacup in shock, but we students were all rather “ho hum so what”!

MissLucyEyelesbarrow Tue 25-May-21 20:32:41

I don't want to say, @Babdoc, because my GC posts make me paranoid about doxing, but suffice it to say it was a very well known RG uni in the 1990s. Yours sounds far more progressive.

We did do gynae, of course, but - like all the rest of our teaching - it had an entirely secondary care, inpatient, focus - so lots of cancer, but no sexual function. I was taught far more about choriocarcinoma (have seen 1 case in my career) than pelvic pain or the menstrual cycle.

I can't honestly say that this was due to a bias against women's health, because the teaching of men's sexual health and function was equally dire. There is a massive amount of sexism and misogyny in medicine, as you will know but, in this case, I think the problem was more that our curriculum was designed for (and possibly by) nineteenth century surgeons!

Babdoc Tue 25-May-21 21:15:25

Ours was a bit trendy for the 1970’s, MissLucy. We had 30% female students for a start, when most of the London med schools had a quota of max 10% women.
And we did medical sociology in third year. Rather to the annoyance of some of the crustier surgeons, who reckoned we knew ten ways to empathetically break bad news, but damn all anatomy!

NotAnotherAlias Tue 25-May-21 23:58:47

@MissLucyEyelesbarrow I was at medical school probably around the same time as you on a traditional style course at a RG university. I was taught loads about gynaecology, attended colposcopy clinics, urogynaecology clinics, general clinics, gynae theatre time, sexual health clinics. I’d say I received far more teaching about women’s health than urology.

I’m sure there are courses where this was/is done better than others, but I’d hate those reading this to think teaching on this area of medicine is universally poor.

alexdgr8 Wed 26-May-21 00:20:09

MissLucy, would you have covered those areas later, if you went on to train as a GP ?

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in