There are times when it seems sexism pervades every aspect of a woman's life, even their visits to the doctor.
Many women who suffer from chronic pain find that doctors won't take their symptoms seriously, misdiagnosing the issues or claiming their female patient's discomfort is all in their heads.
Writer Suzannah Weiss began a Twitter thread urging women to come forward with stories of their misdiagnoses, bringing into sharp focus the way women are regularly mistreated by their physicians.
Weiss' original tweet recounts her own 11-month, 17-doctor process of receiving treatment for her condition.
Weiss discussed the sexism women face at the doctor's office with HelloGiggles:
"When I share my story of doctors dismissing my health concerns, shaming me, and not being able to figure out what's going on or how to help me, I'm always blown away by how many women can relate. Research shows that doctors are less likely to treat women's pain and take longer to diagnose women (the average time it takes for endometriosis to get diagnosed is six to 10 years!). Women, like the ones in my thread, often describe doctors attributing their symptoms to anxiety or depression—or, worse, telling them they somehow brought their illnesses on themselves."
She went on:
"On top of that, medical research primarily uses male subjects and neglects health issues that disproportionately affect women. The end result of all these problems is that women and other oppressed groups are more likely to be living with chronic health problems, often without appropriate treatment. Since health care is such a basic necessity, this disadvantage sets women back in every area of their lives and stops them from attaining the power in society that they deserve and that the world needs."
Many women could not agree more and began sounding off in the comments with stories of their own.
Weiss followed up on her thread, expanding on her thoughts.
Weiss told HelloGiggles:
"Another part of the problem is a widespread view of the female body as inherently defective, leading to the normalization of symptoms like painful periods, pain during sex, and sexual dysfunction. These issues should not be considered normal, as they compromise women's quality of life and point toward underlying problems that need addressing."
It is time doctors began taking women's pain seriously.