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Stigma around women’s health must be addressed, says RCGP

Responding to a new report on reproductive health published by Public Health England today, Chair of the Royal College of GPs and a GP with a long term interest in women’s health, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard said:

“Reproductive health conditions affect women’s health and emotional wellbeing on a daily basis and can range in severity in terms of the impact their condition has on their everyday life.

“Even though in the modern day we don’t expect there to be social stigmas around women’s health matters, unfortunately – as this research shows – stigma does still exist and it is concerning that many women do not seek help for conditions which can often be very serious.

“As GPs we strive to offer a safe space for all our patients to discuss any health matter they may be experiencing, and women should feel reassured that GPs deal with a wide range of female and sexual health consultations that are often of a sensitive and complex nature.

“This research also highlights the urgent need to encourage more public conversations around women’s health matters to assure women that they will be taken seriously, and that they should never feel ashamed to talk openly about their health concerns whether that be their periods, miscarriage, infertility, menopause or something else.

“The College has signed up to Public Health England’s campaign to make reproductive health a public health issue. Women’s Health is also a clinical priority for the RCGP, with a particular focus on Menstrual Wellbeing, and we are working with partners to develop resources to support GPs and their teams to provide appropriate information and advice to their patients on a wide-range of women’s health issues.”

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