The women’s health report: 10 things you need to know
The Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, has today issued a women’s health report making a series of recommendations.
The annual report tackled issues such as obesity, ovarian cancer and ‘taboo’ women’s issues such as incontinence.
Here’s what you need to know:
1) Dame Sally addressed obesity as one of the biggest crises in female health. She said: ‘Action is required across all of society to prevent obesity and its associated problems from shortening women’s lives and affecting their quality of life.’
2) Her speech highlighted the difficulties that obesity can cause in pregnancy, adding ‘it can affect the outcomes of any pregnancies they have and the health of any future they may have,’ adding that women should ignore the traditional advice of eating for two.
3) She also quoted nationwide statistics that 56% of women aged 35-44 and 62% of women aged 45-54 were classified as overweight or obese in 2013.
4) Dame Sally said women need to speak up about issues such as menopause and incontinence: ‘Women should never suffer in silence. Breaking the taboo around these subjects will help more women come forward and get the care they need.’
5) She added that managers should make it easier for female employees to discuss menopause at work, in order to reduce sick leave.
6) The report called for a national audit of ovarian cancer treatment: ‘Deaths from ovarian cancer are still stubbornly high – a national audit of ovarian cancer is surely long overdue given the numbers of deaths we are seeing from this silent killer.’
7) Dame Sally also stated the importance of better surgery for ovarian cancer patients, after studies have found that operating times over three hours are more successful than surgeries which take place over a shorter period.
8) Medical staff should be better trained to spot and respond to violence against women.
9) Contraception should be available for women of all reproductive ages.
10) Help such as cognitive behaviour therapy and family-based therapy should be readily available for the treatment of eating disorders.