What Happens When Shame and Bias Get in the Way?
This is not just a problem for women with lower incomes. The women featured in the #notsoquiet slider with an * next to their name died of breast, ovarian, or cervical cancer despite being financially well off, having advanced degrees, and their willingness to speak up on other important issues.
According to Doing Harm by Maya Dusenbery, women are more likely than men to wait 10 months with 5 or more visits to their doctor between their first visit and diagnosis. This wait time is greater for low-income people. There is no research on how many women don’t go back due to shame or lack of financial ability to pay or miss work. It’s estimated that 40-80,000 deaths in the US occur each year due to misdiagnoses. Those numbers represent children being raised without parents and women missing from the workforce. For women who survive misdiagnoses, they can find themselves in tremendous debt and/or permanently disabled.
Women deserve to be fully present without worry about menstruation and reproductive health whether they are taking their college entrance exams, playing sports, or leading a meeting in a boardroom.
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