Inequality in healthcare harms everyone – How you can take part in fertility activism
Ignored, dismissed and gas-lighted – if you’re female or non-binary, are you frustrated with the way the healthcare system treats women, girls and non-binary people? Ever feel ignored or misunderstood by the medical profession? You’re not imagining it.
From endometriosis pain to ADHD and autism, the healthcare system was designed by men, for men, and is better at diagnosing and treating men than everyone else. This can mean female and non-binary patients are undiagnosed and untreated, misdiagnosed, or waiting a long time for a diagnosis.
On the flip side of the coin, some issues men face can be minimised or misunderstood by the medical profession, simply because they’re deemed “women’s issues” or not an issue for male patients.
What can you do to help?
Get ready to do some equality activism right now! It’s easy to get involved. First up, the NHS wants to hear about your experiences with healthcare as a woman, girl or non-binary individual. Body positivity campaigner Jess Megan explains it all here, and you can get involved right away.
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Egg Freezing for Endometriosis – Be a fertility activism warrior!
Next up, here’s a petition on egg freezing for women with endometriosis. This is a debilitating illness that affects 1 in 10 women, and it takes on average 7 years to be diagnosed. Many women with endometriosis are repeatedly told there is nothing wrong with them, or that they are exaggerating their extreme pain and other symptoms, or that it’s just a bad period. Endometriosis is very real, and it destroys lives.
If that wasn’t shocking enough, the NHS does not offer egg-freezing to women with endometriosis, even though this illness can destroy fertility. Chemotherapy patients can get their eggs frozen, but endometriosis sufferers face all kinds of barriers to diagnosis and treatment.
This is a cause that our Endo expert Emma is very passionate about – if you have not had a chance to read her powerful letter on all the things she wished she could tell her younger self you are missing out on an amazing read! – The Storm Ahead – a letter to my 19 year old self about Endometriosis
Help balance out the issue of infertility treatment with some male factor fertility activism
Infertility affects 1 in 7 couples, and it’s about 50/50 male and female issues preventing pregnancy. However, the overwhelming focus in the medical profession is on simply getting the woman pregnant, whether or not it is her that actually needs treatment. This can unfairly exclude and dis-empower men, who have every right to have their fertility issues investigated and treated equally. It also places a lot of the burden on women, who tend to undergo more invasive treatments such as IVF and IUI.
Fertility issues in men can cause anxiety, and men often don’t fully understand their reproductive health, as well as women, do, because it’s considered a “women’s issue”. We’re sure you’ll agree this isn’t fair to men or women, and our Men’s Health activist Kevin Button is a tireless campaigner for men’s fertility and mental health causes. You can follow him on Facebook or Instagram and support his campaigning here:
Kevin would love it if you would take this survey from Healthy Nuts – a company focused on assisting men in optimizing sperm quantity, quality, and ultimately fertility, from the comfort of their home.