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    Friday, 22 June 2018 16:15
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    Measles outbreaks prompt reminder about MMR vaccination ahead of summer holidays

    Friday, 22 June 2018 15:46
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    Friday, 22 June 2018 15:40
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    Wednesday, 20 June 2018 18:50
  • NICE guideline says people with dementia should be involved in discussions about their care

    NICE guideline says people with dementia should be involved in discussions about their care

    Wednesday, 20 June 2018 18:47

a worried young lady imageApril 27 2018

Embarrassment has prevented more than a quarter of girls and young women from consulting a doctor about menstrual problems.

A new survey says that 79% of females aged between 14-21 years have experienced symptoms linked to their period that concerned them, but they haven’t seen a doctor or health professional. For 27% of them, this was “because they had felt too embarrassed, with nearly one in 10 (8%) saying there was only a male doctor available and they didn’t feel comfortable talking to them.”

The survey was conducted by Plan International UK, a children’s charity working to advance children’s rights and equality for girls.

Data from the survey indicates that of the 1,004 respondents who have started their period, the following had symptoms but didn’t see a doctor:

  • 29% said they have had heavy bleeding;
  • 38% have experienced severe period pain;
  • 25% have had periods that are heavier than usual;
  • 32% have had irregular periods;
  • 23% have been concerned about missing periods;
  • 19% said they have felt depressed.

Tanya Barron, Chief Executive of Plan International UK, said: “It’s worrying that girls and young women are experiencing symptoms linked to their periods that they’re concerned about but aren’t seeking a medical opinion.”

She has called for better education for both boys and girls “to bust taboos and make sure girls know when the symptoms they have are healthy and normal or when they need to seek medical advice.”

Commenting on the survey, RCGP Chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard acknowledged that “girls may feel they want to consult a female GP about a women’s health matter – and where possible a practice will do what they can to accommodate this – but we would also like to reassure patients that male GPs are extremely experienced doctors who deal with a wide range of female and sexual health consultations on a day-to-day basis. Practices will also offer patients a chaperone to patients who want one.”

Links:
Plan International UK announcement    
Plan International UK ‘Break the Barriers: Girls’ Experiences of Menstruation in the UK’ report    
RCGP comment            

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