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MPs to examine women’s reproductive health in new inquiry

25 July 2023

The Women and Equalities Committee today launches a new inquiry on women’s menstrual and gynaecological health, to understand the challenges women face during diagnosis and treatment of reproductive health issues. 

In a UK Government public survey, access to information was found to be a key issue. Only 8% of respondents felt they had access to enough information on gynaecological conditions. Women also said that they often had to speak to multiple doctors over several months to receive a diagnosis. When it comes to endometriosis diagnosis, 58% of women visit their GP more than 10 times with symptoms before they’re diagnosed. 

As an underfunded area of research, MPs will consider how women’s experiences of reproductive healthcare vary and how these disparities can impact health outcomes. Endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and premenstrual dysphoric disorder are examples of the types of conditions the inquiry will cover. 

Chair comment

Committee Chair, Caroline Nokes MP, said:

“Navigating reproductive health care is not always easy. From the side-effect lottery of the contraceptive pill to the amount of time and appointments it can take for women with painful conditions to receive a diagnosis.

“Taboos and misinformation still stifle the conversation, making it difficult for women to get to the facts. In this inquiry, we want to get to the bottom of what constitutes ‘healthy’ periods, the barriers to good reproductive health, and whether women are getting the care they need.”

Terms of reference

The inquiry invites written evidence on the following questions by 5pm on 1 September 2023.

  • What constitutes healthy periods and reproductive health?
  • What are women’s experiences of being diagnosed with, undergoing procedures and being treated for gynaecological or urogynaecological conditions?
  • What disparities exist in the treatment and diagnosis of gynaecological or urogynaecological conditions?
  • What barriers exist in the treatment and diagnosis of gynaecological or urogynaecological conditions?

Further information

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