Report finds taboos in women’s health can limit access to knowledge and care

A report by the Alberta Women’s Health Foundation says pain and discomfort around conditions such as menopause, periods and endometriosis can limit access to knowledge and care.

The report, “Surveying the Silence: Exploring the Taboos in Women’s Health,” polled more than 2,200 Albertans who identify as women to understand their top health issues, concerns and experiences.

It found that those surveyed experience an average of five pelvic health issues, including painful periods, pelvic floor dysfunction and regular yeast infections.

Click to play video: 'Health Matters: Report finds inequities put women’s heart and brain health at risk'

Health Matters: Report finds inequities put women’s heart and brain health at risk

About two-thirds found it difficult to talk to their primary health-care provider about their concerns and only a quarter felt “very knowledgeable” about their gynecological and reproductive health.

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The survey found delays in treatment were common, with 85 per cent of women who had a more complicated diagnosis such as endometriosis reporting a wait.

The report says keeping the women’s health issues taboo plays a role in the disparity of care and lack of research on the topics.

Read more: Nearly 50% of Canadian women ‘feel unprepared’ for menopause. What to expect  

Read next: Former Alberta CMOH appointed to public health leadership role in B.C.

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