Alongside her feminist history of illness, Elinor Cleghorn makes a plea for better listening
After a decade of mysterious running injuries and countless specialist visits, I found a treatment centered on neuroscience.
Physicians have long dismissed or downplayed women's sexual- and reproductive-health concerns—but in 2018, stories about "health-care gaslighting" are consistently breaking through to the mainstream.
From understanding how they talk about pain to understanding the barriers that society places on them, it's time to take a hard look at why our health care system is failing women.
Why women are 50 percent more likely to be misdiagnosed after a heart attack and 17 percent more likely to die in a car crash.
When a man consults a doctor about pain, he will hope to be taken seriously: to convince the doctor that the pain is real, and a problem that needs addressing. The experience is different for women, who may suspect that gender stereotypes could lead their doctor to conclude they’re not in as much pain as they say they are.
Unfortunately, this suspicion is valid.
The science of medicine is based on male bodies, but researchers are beginning to realize how vastly the symptoms of disease differ between the sexes — and how much danger women are in.
Amy Mason had toughed it out for hours one day this past July, trying warm soaks and heating pads and deep breathing to soothe pain that felt like her bones were being sawed with a rusty blade.
She knew this was a life-threatening emergency of sickle cell disease, in which her misshapen red blood cells were getting stuck in her blood vessels like tree limbs in a storm sewer. But she delayed going to the emergency room; previous visits hadn’t gone well.
As characterized by the ‘Yentl syndrome’ depicted in the Barbra Streisand movie of the same name, Dr Bernadine Healy used this term in 2001 to call attention to the paradox of adverse outcomes of women with IHD, as well as the underdiagnosis and undertreatment of women.
The women who reached out said they felt that they were often “fobbed off” with painkillers when their problems required medical investigation.
There’s a dirty little secret in health care that doesn’t get the attention it deserves: Female patients are continuously gaslighted about their physical and mental health.
More women than men suffer from chronic pain, described as pain that persists for more than six months. In addition, much of this pain remains undiagnosed or untreated.
As well as the pain associated with menstruation or the bearing of children, waiting rooms of pain physicians, rheumatologists and gastroenterologists show clear majorities of women.
When my wife was struck by mysterious, debilitating symptoms, our trip to the ER revealed the sexism inherent in emergency treatment.
Understanding how men and women feel feel pain is clouded by conflicting results and murky interpretations. While some work suggests that women feel more pain than men, other studies have found the opposite to be true. So which gender has the higher threshold? That depends on what’s hurting and how.
She walked out of the hospital room so her mother wouldn’t worry and told the nearest nurse, between gasps, that she needed a CT scan with contrast and IV heparin (a blood thinner) right away.
The series was sparked by Joe Fassler’s account of his wife experiencing an ovarian torsion that went undiagnosed for an excruciatingly long time.
Pain conditions are a particularly good example of the interplay between sex (our biological and chromosomal differences) and gender (the cultural roles and expectations attributed to a person).
Black women are often dismissed or ignored by medical care providers. Williams wasn’t an exception.
Because of sexist myths about health and pain, women have more difficulty getting proper diagnoses and treatment for serious conditions.
When they’re in pain, women wait longer in emergency departments and are less likely to be given effective painkillers than men.
Women have faced centuries of doubt and discrimination over their ailments, from ancient Greece to modern diagnoses of ‘hysteria’.
In the UK, hysteroscopies—a procedure by which doctors examine the inside of the uterus—are routinely performed without any form of pain relief. But for some women, the experience can be unbearably painful.