PODCAST: The Health Gap – Exploring gender inequalities in UK healthcare

The Health Gap is a brand-new podcast from South West Londoner about all things women’s health.

Presented and produced by journalists Lucy Carr, Emily-Jane Heap, Kirsten Grant and Madison Bentley, this series will explore gender inequalities across the UK health services.

Each week will see The Health Gap hosts talk with experts to demystify concerns surrounding women’s health issues, debunk age-old misconceptions about the female body, and bring to light the issue of misdiagnosis and dismissal of women’s symptoms.

This week’s episode focuses on how the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified gender inequalities in the healthcare system.

Topics of discussion include the widespread panic triggered by the AstraZeneca vaccine’s potential to cause blood clots, versus the lack of discourse surrounding the Pill, which carries a comparatively higher risk of causing the same life-threatening issue.

Women are concerned that the COVID-19 vaccine has affected their periods (Image credit: Heather Hazzan)
THE HEALTH GAP: Women are concerned the COVID-19 vaccine is affecting their periods (Image credit: Heather Hazzan)

The presenters also discuss the number of women taking to social media to express worries about the COVID-19 vaccine affecting their menstrual cycle.

There are concerns that the lack of research in this area is yet another example of how women’s health issues are dismissed.  

This week’s episode of The Health Gap welcomes special guests Dr Elinor Cleghorn and Dr Nitu Bajekal.

Dr Cleghorn is a feminist cultural historian who specialises in the history of medicine, focusing particularly on how those histories relate to women’s bodies and illnesses.

She is the author of the book Unwell Women, which traces the relationship between women and medical ideas about female bodies from ancient Greece until present day – unpacking the roots of current phenomena, such as the gender health and pay gaps.

Dr Bajekal is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist with over 35 years of clinical experience in women’s health.

She has special expertise in areas such as the management of heavy and painful periods, the menopause, fibroids, polycystic ovarian syndrome and cervical cancer screening and is also the founder of Women for Women’s Health, a voluntary service set up in 2014 to educate and empower women to make dietary and lifestyle choices to help improve their health.

Unwell Women is available to buy on Amazon and all reputable bookshops.

If you think you may be suffering from gynaecological health issues, more information can be found at The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the NHS website or Dr Nitu Bajekal’s website.

You can listen to The Health Gap podcast below:

Header image credit: Lucy Carr (via Canva)

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