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Women must find the time to see their doctor

Women are failing to see their doctorswhen they have potentially life-threatening symptoms – mainly because they’re too ‘busy’ or are worried they’re overreacting.
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According to a new study byOvarian Cancer Action,not enough women are going to see the GP when they need to. Aquarter of the 200 women polledsaid that work came first – while a third said it was more important for them to look after their family.

For others, the barrier to seeing a doctorwas to do with judgement.More a third of women said they found it difficult to speak to a doctor, with half saying they were embarrassed – especially aroundsexual health concerns. Others felt dismissed by their GPs and didn’t want to be seen as overreacting.

“It reflects our very busy lives,” explains Katherine Taylor, chief executive of the charity. “Women are typically on the frontline whether it’s working, caring for children, or for older relatives. We’re all very busy all the time so sometimes health issues can get overlooked. All of us feel that urge to put our families first but it’s really important we look after our own health as well.”

A lot of people may turn to Dr Google instead of their GP out of fear of wasting their time –but don’t turn to Google – it could give you the wrong information.

“What we’d say to women worried is it’s important to keep track of your symptoms,” says Taylor. “As women we know our bodies. We know when there’s something wrong. Don’t feel you can’t take that to the doctor. We shouldn’t feel embarrassed talking about our bodies – we should feel empowered.”

If you’re struggling to see your GP you need to make the time. Your health is important and employers should understand. If you still feel unable to take time off, try an out of hours appointment or a walk-in clinic. It might be an effort, but it’s worth it.It’s your body.

Radhika Sanhhani wrties for the Telegraph, London