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​​60% Of Women Say Health Issues ‘Not Taken Seriously’ In The UK

patient consulting with doctor or psychiatrist

Nearly two-thirds (60%) of women in the UK believe their health issues are not taken seriously, while more than a third (35%) feel they have experienced poorer health outcomes because of their gender, according to new research by affordable healthcare provider, Benenden Health.

Of the women who stated they have experienced a poorer health outcome in their life, more than half said they’ve had a negative experience with a healthcare professional (57%) and a third said they have experienced a late diagnosis (36%).

A further third have received a diagnosis that turned out to be incorrect (33%), whilst a quarter revealed that they have also been put on the wrong medication at some point in their lifetime.

The survey, of 10,000 women aged 16+ in the UK, was carried out as part of Benenden Health’s new campaign which is focused on raising awareness of the existing gender health gap in the UK. Currently, the UK has the largest female health gap among G20 countries, and the 12th largest globally. 

Benenden Health’s research looks at how this manifests itself and seeks to understand, and remove, the barriers to a more equal society when it comes to health outcomes.

The research also found that more than a quarter (27%) of women feel that the UK’s healthcare system specifically favours men over women, leaving many women reticent to seek medical help at all and impacting on their long-term wellbeing.

In fact, more than a third of respondents (35%) said they avoid going to the doctors, for reasons including anxiety and embarrassment.

Rowan Connell, Medical Director and Consultant Gynaecologist at Benenden Health said: “The findings of our research paint a concerning look at women’s health in the UK, but it’s a reality that, as a society, we cannot shy away from.

At Benenden Health, we believe that everyone deserves access to great healthcare. We are committed to not only raising awareness of the gender health gap, but working to break down the barriers that women face and removing the stigma around women’s health to ensure the right support is in place for them now, and into the future.”

Having spoken about her own experience of the gender health gap as part of the campaign, TV presenter and women’s health advocate, Cherry Healey, said: “This campaign is so important in the fight to enable women to talk more openly about their own health, so that when they express their health concerns, they are taken seriously.

This is an issue that I feel very strongly about, having previously shared my own experience of perimenopause and learning about the avoidable challenges so many women go through to get the help they need.

I want to help ensure that women all over the UK are receiving the support that they need, when they need it.”

In partnership with the UK’s leading charity for gender equality and women’s rights, the Fawcett Society, Benenden Health is on a mission to raise awareness of the gender health gap in the UK by highlighting the challenges that women face and supporting better health outcomes for all.

Benenden Health is private healthcare done differently, believing that no matter who you are and what your medical history is, you deserve access to great healthcare.

For more information about Benenden Health’s latest campaign, visit: