Sexism - Let's Talk About It!
There are many “taboo” words we often tiptoe around when discussing women with bleeding disorders and it feels like sexism is one of those words. So let’s talk about it!
There’s no denying that women face a multitude of obstacles when seeking diagnosis and care for a bleeding disorder—there are numerous stories from within the Victory for Women community that can attest to this.
Dr. Angela Weyand and Dr. Paula James coauthored a fantastic research article that speaks to this exact issue. In their research they found that, “women should make up approximately 30% of patients with hemophilia, yet the latest report from the World Federation of Hemophilia included only 3.5% women”. And that’s just hemophilia—as we know, there are a variety of bleeding disorders that affect women. Furthermore, women were also getting their diagnoses far later in life when compared to men, making this journey even more strenuous for hundreds of women.
These obstacles are further exacerbated when you take into consideration the general stigma surrounding periods. How do we advocate for more people to seek a diagnosis or push for adequate care when the “p-word” is so taboo? There are still so many myths floating around about those who menstruate: stories of hysteria and uncleanliness. This contributes to a societal norm that silences important conversations on menstrual health and bleeding patterns – conversations that can save lives!
The image above was featured in the research article, as well. It does a fantastic job of illustrating the cyclical nature of how sexism is woven into the management of bleeding disorders.
So let’s stop evading these words. Let’s talk about the sexism women face as they go through this journey. And let’s talk about periods, so future generations don’t have to face the same roadblocks. Our women and girls deserve more!
What’s the silliest myth you’ve heard about periods? Let me know in the comments!
To read this outstanding research article by Dr. Angela Weyand and Dr. Paula James, click here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/rth2.12468
For those who prefer videos, Dr. Weyand also touched on this article and the intersection with mental health in this fantastic NHF Wednesday Webinar she led a few months ago: https://www.hemophilia.org/events/heavy-menstrual-bleeding-impact-on-mental-health-in-adolescent-and-young-adult-women-with-bleeding-disorders