How to End Bias and Taboos in Women’s Health Care

Women’s health care Still not fair: Prejudice, taboos and sexism are still pervasive in medicine, with pervasive effects on all aspects of a woman’s life.

But there is a pervasive note of optimism at WIRED Health last week in a conference on the future of women’s health care. Taboos are being broken—especially around topics like menstruation, menopause, and the female body. “There is a big shift happening right now,” said Jennifer Garrison, co-founder and director of the Global Consortium on Longevity and Reproductive Equality at the Buck Institute in California.

Geeta Nargund, founder and medical director of Create Fertility, a British IVF service, says change starts with better education about women’s health. Things are starting to improve: In the UK, specific education in women’s health will be compulsory for medical students from 2024.

A clear need is to rethink how the medical field thinks and talks about menopause and its treatment. “Going through menopause is one of the most dramatic things that can happen to a healthy woman’s body,” says Garrison. However, we view menopause as a brief moment in a woman’s life, rather than a medical transition that takes place over several years, with many health effects.

And the reality of a woman’s body shouldn’t interfere with her career path, as it does today. “When women’s health is not properly taken into account, it ultimately creates loss,” said Kate Ryder, CEO of Maven Clinic, the largest virtual clinic for women’s and family health. gender balance at the top level of corporations. Here’s where her company fits in: Maven Clinic is helping businesses retain talent by improving health outcomes and reducing maternity and reproductive costs for female employees.

Although there are signs of progress, there is still a mountain of work to be done. “We need to start thinking about the female body as a whole, rather than dealing with organ systems one by one,” says Garrison. But getting there will require more funding and attention. “A complete lack of data,” says Garrison. “So we don’t understand the most basic things about what’s going on with women’s health.”


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