Whilst this has always been an issue within the medical field, it’s only been in recent years that it has come to light just how often women are being misdiagnosed by doctors and there have been more lawsuits for lack of care than ever before. Men and women have very different bodies and therefore different needs, there has been some progress in research about women’s medical needs, for example, it has come to light that men and women need different types of steroids as they affect male and female bodies differently. However, there hasn’t been enough progress as it’s easy for men to access steroid but it’s much harder for women, most legal steroids for women are available here online, it’s almost impossible to obtain women-specific steroids over the counter. This is a small insight into how women and men get treated differently in the medical field, keep reading to further explore why women are so often misdiagnosed.
There are several reasons why health issues in women often go misdiagnosed and therefore untreated, one of the main reasons is that women often experience different symptoms from men. In the past, most testing has been performed on men, even in animal trials 75% of the time the animals being tested on were male. This means that the ‘normal’ symptoms associated with various illnesses are mainly based on how a man’s body would react. One example of this is that chest pain is the most common symptom associated with a heart attack, however, often in women, there are more subtle signs like shortness of breath, fatigue, and indigestion. As the medical community is so used to chest pain being the most common symptom, rather than realizing that this could be a sign of a heart attack in women they think these symptoms are a result of other issues such as the flu, leaving women to go misdiagnosed.
As briefly mentioned, the majority of medical research has been based around males, even in animal clinical trials. The male body was seen as the standard as sexism against women was deep-rooted in society in the past when medicine was developing. Although in 1993 a law was passed by congress requiring clinical trials to focus research on women just as much as they do on men. Even though this came into law, recent studies suggest there has not been enough advancement in the effects of medicine in women, until there is more progress in this area women will continue to go misdiagnosed.
Unfortunately, there are still many stereotypes around women that lead medical professionals to dismiss what women say and not take women seriously. Many women have been told that their symptoms are all in their head, that they’re simply overreacting, or that any pain they’re feeling is simply a result of their period which is not the case. The most high-profile case of this happening is with the famous tennis player Serena Williams, she was concerned about blood clots after she had a C-Section and was suffering from shortness of breath. At first, her thoughts were dismissed and she was told by a nurse that she was just confused. However, she kept pushing and demanded a CT scan, only then did the doctor find that she was correct and she did have life-threatening blood clots.
How should you deal with this situation as a woman?
The first and most important thing that you should do if you believe you’re being dismissed is to always trust your instincts. No one knows your body as well as you do, so listen to it, if it’s giving you warning signals then always listen to them and trust your gut. Keep pushing or change your doctor if you’re not being taken seriously. You should also keep records of any symptoms you have as this will help to get people to take you more seriously and help in getting the correct diagnosis. Another issue in women’s health is women often get told they’re too young to be suffering from certain issues, but in many cases, especially after pregnancy, people can develop illnesses and diseases much younger than the average age so never think you’re too young for an issue to affect you.