Women share all the times their medical problems were ignored by doctors

A now-viral Twitter thread has inspired women to share their personal stories about seeing the doctor [Photo: Getty]

There are sure to be plenty of women who would raise their hand if asked whether their doctor has ever dismissed their health concerns. For too long, a large majority of us have put off booking an appointment for period pain or anxiety through fear of being laughed out of the door.

Now, women are taking back the control through the power of social media.

In a recent tweet, writer Suzannah Weiss asked female Twitter users how long it took them to be diagnosed with a chronic illness. She then went on to list her own personal experience with 17 different doctors over an 11-month period to “show what we go through just to begin to heal”.

Weiss then went on to highlight how women, people of colour and members of the LGBTQ community in particular are often criticised for self-diagnosis.

“We get called hypochondriacs when what we really are is empowered and determined to love and care for ourselves,” she tweeted. “This is a feminist issue. We are sick, suffering and even dying because people still can’t trust our knowledge of our own bodies.”

Weiss then encouraged fellow women to speak up and use the hashtag #MyDoctorSaid in order to share their own experiences with GPs.

Unsurprisingly, hundreds of social media users took to Twitter to speak candidly about their past ordeals and some are admittedly hard to read.

One wrote, “Me: I’m worried I have ovarian cancer, I always have pain near my ovary. Doc: How long has this been going on? Me: On and off for seven years. Doc: (laughing) If it was cancer, you’d be dead by now. It took 5 more years to be diagnosed with Stage IV endometriosis. #MyDoctorSaid”

Another tweeted: “Don’t you want to be pretty?” – an allergist on my 10lb weight gain due to medication #MyDoctorSaid”

But they’re not alone, as women across the world took to Twitter to share their personal stories – a sure-fire sign that change needs to happen:

A 2015 study revealed that there was a longer lag time from the onset of symptoms to diagnosis in female patients in six out of 11 types of cancer. But this isn’t down to women delaying booking an appointment with their GP, as a large majority of doctors re guilty of not taking women’s symptoms seriously.

While a 2013 study discovered that more than twice as many women as men had to make more than three visits to a doctor in the UK before getting referred to a specialist for suspected bladder cancer.

Though the stories may prove hard to read, the powerful hashtag will hopefully help to boost conversation around the growing issue and will eventually enable us all to feel welcome at our local doctor’s surgery.

If you wish to share your story, use the hashtag #MyDoctorSaid.

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