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Why do women have a harder time getting an accurate diagnosis?

| Nov 11, 2019 | Injuries

When it comes to feeling your best and taking proper care of your health, regularly visiting your Tennessee-area physician can be a necessity. But what do you do when, as a woman, you feel your current doctor cannot provide you with proper treatment or answers regarding a health issue? A missed, inaccurate or late diagnosis can result in unnecessary suffering, treatment and spending.

WebMD shines a light on the matter. Hopefully, you can learn how to protect your peace of mind and your health when your doctor drops the ball.

Insufficient research

Initially, the male body was the standard in medical research, meaning that discoveries could be unique to the male body. Even today, there is a lack of research aimed specifically at how disease and health differ in women’s bodies. This has resulted in a multitude of misunderstandings, confusion and unanswered questions surrounding how to provide proper treatment for women.

Opposing symptoms 

Even if a male and female patient both have the exact same medical condition, they can present different symptoms. Doctors unfamiliar with such different symptoms may mistakenly believe that a woman has a completely different condition. For instance, rather than the typical chest pain associated with a heart attack in men, a woman may instead experience neck pain, indigestion or trouble breathing. Women themselves may not realize their difference in symptoms, which can lead them to not seeking medical attention when they need it.

Downplaying concerns

Sometimes, doctors make women feel like they blow symptoms and medical concerns out of proportion, or that any discomfort they experience with something like their period is normal and nothing to pursue treatment for. If women do not push nurses and doctors to run tests or take their concerns seriously, or if medical professionals refuse to take a patient’s concerns seriously, the situation could become life-threatening.

Race

There are times when women of color have a harder time receiving a proper medical diagnosis because of their race. Some medical conditions are more common in black women when compared to white women.

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