Women fear they are being misdiagnosed as doctors 'miss' life-changing conditions | The Sun

WOMEN across the UK fear they aren't receiving the correct medical advise from doctors, new research has revealed.

Around 49 per cent of females believe this is due to medics not listening to them, with 22 per cent saying this is because of their gender.

The study of 2,000 women found that 23 per cent think their incorrect diagnosis is due to a lack of research on their gender.

Commissioned by digital healthcare platform Livi, the research also found of the women who believe they have been misdiagnosed, nearly one in three still don’t think they’ve received the correct diagnosis.

And, alarmingly, for more than a quarter – these were life altering or threatening conditions.

Livi teamed up with author and podcaster Emma Gannon to release a free eBook, Miss Diagnosed: the health handbook every woman (and man) should read.

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Emma said: “Medical research focusing mainly on men is damaging women’s health, resulting in misdiagnoses and potentially threatening lives.

“There is simply not enough data or research available still, which is causing women to not feel understood and heard in the context of their bodies.

“Most doctors really do work hard to help as much as they can, but the data and knowledge hasn't caught up yet and this gender data gap is at the root of systemic discrimination against women.”

The research also revealed the extent of the impact of a misdiagnosis – with 42 per cent saying their mental health suffered as a result.

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More than a third (34 per cent) claimed it was damaging to their relationships with partners, friends or family – while 18 per cent believed their misdiagnoses was detrimental to their sex life.

What’s more, 28 per cent of women don’t believe doctors are properly trained in all aspects of women’s health.

Dr Bryony Henderson, the lead GP for the service, said: “Despite our differences in physiology and genetic make-up, collective research suggests there is still a wide gap in knowledge on how medical conditions affect men and women differently.

“And this lack of education can result in women receiving poorer medical advice.

“Until about 25 years ago, almost all medical research was carried out exclusively on men, and so we still have a lot of catching up to do.

“Digital healthcare has a huge role to play in closing the gender health gap, which is why we have used our knowledge to create a free eBook as a resource to help towards doing so.”

The study found the biggest health concerns for women included mental health, menopause and menstruation – while many are also concerned about pregnancy and infertility.

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DrHenderson, who is also part of the programme offering training to more than 10,000 doctors, added: “In response to these findings we are strengthening our commitment to providing specialist women’s health training.

“This will cover themes such as menstruation and menopause, not only to our own GPs, but to thousands more doctors across the UK.”  

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