Be kept informed

Subscribe to Kath's informative newsletter

* indicates required

Gynaecological Awareness: Update 2018

I think I’d get the attention of the world a whole load quicker for this topic of gynaecological, sexual and related mental health issues.  Seriously, at times I think, “What is it going to take?  What is going to arrest the world and point their attention to the fact that millions of women world wide are suffering and need education and support?”

Prof Lesley Regan

The Call to Action from Professor Lesley Regan

I find my heart beat echoed in the words of Professor Lesley Regan, President of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (RCOG), who wrote recently…

While we hear so much about gender equality in the UK and worldwide, there are many issues affecting the health of women and girls which still remain “off-limits”. This stigma often causes women to ignore concerns about their health, while the fear of embarrassment can leave them suffering in silence. We must do more to address this and break down taboos surrounding gynaecological health.

You can read more of what she had to say on the subject here.

Some say I ‘bang on’ about this topic. The reality is that if I had my way I’d be beating the biggest drum in the world.  Yet I find I am rapidly coming  to the end of my energy.  I wonder who is going to take up this call?  Who is going to push for change?  Who is going to speak up for the women if I don’t?

Social Proof of The Need for Action

In the last month alone, I have met four women.  One woman previously had vulva surgery and has had to return to have more radical surgery.  Two women who have lichen sclerosis, a condition that can cause severe pain and discomfit in the vulva/vagina and lead to scarring. And another woman had incontinence as a side effect from her gynaecological treatment.

These are just four women, met socially over the course of a month, who spoke to me about their suffering because I raised the topic.  They are a small sample of the thousands of women I have listened to over the past 23 years. Women with Polycystic Ovaries, Endometriosis, Prolapse Uterus, Hysterectomies, Fibroids, Menopause and depression; many of whom had not shared their story with another soul.

Recently, I was contacted by a young woman who told me that because of my book Not So Secret Women’s Business and my Undies for better Understanding awareness campaign, she went and had a pap smear.  It saved her life, as there was early diagnosis of cancer.

I can see the difference that I am making.  I can see the difference that Professor Lesley Regan is attempting to make with the doctors in the UK.  What I need now to see is the difference that the community is willing to make. The difference needs to be on the ground level to shift the attitudes around this topic.  We need a groundswell of action from women demanding greater education and support if we are going to see any real investment in this area.

The Action to Take

The end goal from my perspective is:

  • Access to information and education, teaching correct terminologies, risks and symptoms, so that the community (both men, women and children) can make more informed decisions when consulting with medical professionals.
  • Resourcing and support of awareness campaigns, like the International Gynaecological Awareness Day, to help to create greater awareness and unify the public and medical communities.
  • And shift in community attitudes towards talking about taboo topics like this, to be more inclusive and open – we need to be able to share our struggles and our victories.

The saddest scenario for me is that a woman should live her life, give of her body to sustain other lives, then die of a condition that was preventable or suffer her whole life without another person understanding her pain and suffering.

In Closing

As I am reflecting on my race, my greatest concern is that there will be no-one to hand the baton to when the time comes for me to finish. That without my voice and constant knocking on doors this topic will slip back into obscurity.  Women, and the men who support them, I call on you to take up this baton.  To write to your local members of parliament, to get involved in hosting events for the International Gynaecological Awareness Day and where you have capacity, to volunteer and support your time to activities that support women who are experiencing these issues.

In closing, I want to express my excitement at being able to meet with Professor Regan and Mr Hani Fawzi, Vice President of Global Health while I am in London.  I am excited to have Jeannette Preston and Neelam Hera, Health Advocates from the UK, coming with me to strengthen the voice. You can rest assured, I will be strongly advocating for RCOG to promote and encourage participation in the International Gynaecological Awareness Day on 10 September.  Thereby, bringing both the medical community and the public together to break down the stigmas and taboos surrounding gynaecology.


Reader Interactions


  1. Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular
    post! It is the little changes which will make the most significant changes.
    Thanks a lot for sharing!

  2. It’s really a great and useful piece of info. I am happy that you simply shared this helpful info with us.
    Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Its like you read my thoughts! You seem to
    understand a lot approximately this, such as you wrote the e-book in it or something.
    I think that you could do with some percent to pressure the message
    house a bit, however instead of that, that is wonderful blog.
    A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.

  4. I think this is among the so much significant information for me.
    And i’m glad studying your article. But want to statement on some basic issues,
    The web site taste is wonderful, the articles is in point of fact excellent : D.
    Just right process, cheers

  5. You really make it seem really easy along with your presentation however I find this topic
    to be really something that I believe I’d never understand.
    It seems too complicated and very wide for me. I am looking ahead in your
    next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  6. Right now it seems like WordPress is the preferred blogging platform out there right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?

  7. Hey, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.

    When I look at your blog site in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer,
    it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Other then that, awesome blog!

  8. Hey There. I discovered your weblog using msn. That is a very smartly written article.
    I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to learn more of your helpful info.
    Thank you for the post. I will certainly return.

  9. We absolutely love your blog and find the majority of your post’s to be exactly what I’m looking for.
    Would you offer guest writers to write content for yourself?
    I wouldn’t mind composing a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects
    you write with regards to here. Again, awesome weblog!

  10. I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this blog.
    I really hope to check out the same high-grade content from you
    in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities
    has encouraged me to get my very own website now 😉

  11. Hmm it appears like your site ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly
    enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog
    writer but I’m still new to everything. Do you
    have any tips and hints for newbie blog writers? I’d definitely appreciate

  12. Hi i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anywhere, when i read this paragraph i thought i could also create comment due to this
    brilliant paragraph.

  13. Thank you a lot for sharing this with all folks you really know what you are talking
    approximately! Bookmarked. Kindly also consult with
    my website =). We can have a hyperlink alternate contract among us

  14. Hi there, I discovered your site by way of Google even as looking for a related matter, your site came up, it looks great.
    I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
    Hi there, just was aware of your weblog through
    Google, and found that it’s truly informative. I’m going
    to be careful for brussels. I’ll be grateful if you happen to continue this in future.
    Many other folks will probably be benefited out of your writing.

  15. Wonderful items from you, man. I’ve take note your
    stuff prior to and you are simply too wonderful.
    I actually like what you have bought right here, really like what you’re stating and the way through which you assert it.
    You’re making it entertaining and you continue to care for to keep it
    smart. I cant wait to read far more from you. That is
    actually a tremendous website.

  16. We stumbled over here from a different web address and thought I might check things out.
    I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to finding out about
    your web page again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *