January 27, 2023

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Israeli Study Shows Gynecology Research Neglects Women after Menopause

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A new study in Israel that has been peer reviewed discovered that women who are dealing with menopause, or have finished it have been ignored in gynecology research.

Dr. Netta Avnoon, a sociologist at the Tel Aviv University discovered that less than 4% of global scientific research publications related to gynecology and obstetrics are focused on post-menopause and menopause.

Neglect

Avnoon said that this indicated that female health was neglected after childbearing years.

She also argued that research does not give menopause more importance than a footnote, even though it is a major life event for more than half of the population in the world at some point.

She stated that this implied that medical progress was not benefitting older women and it was time to bring some change.

Avnoon said that almost one fourth of the world’s population comprises of women who are going through menopause, or are done with it.

Therefore, she asserted that it was rather shameful for gynecologists to have not done enough research on this population.

The study conducted by the TAU sociologist had been published in September in the Nature Reviews Urology journal.

The study

The study did a survey of the journals that are responsible for publishing peer-reviewed studies on gynecology and obstetrics.

It discovered that there were only three titles out of 83, making them less than 4%, which were dedicated to the health of women before their childbearing years, as well as after, thereby including menopause.

According to Avnoon, it is not just about neglecting menopause, but shows a bigger problem.

She said that it highlights that scholars are interested in researching topics related to childbirth and reproduction, while sacrificing the health issues associated with other women.

Pregnancy, childbirth, fetuses and reproductive functions were the topic of 49% of the journals, while only 12% were focused on health issues associated with female sexual organs not related to reproduction.

6% of the journals focused on breasts and 5% of then were dedicated to gynecological cancers. A theme of gynecology and obstetrics could be seen in a quarter of the journals.

More details

Avnoon said that there are a number of medical issues that women can face, which are not related to reproduction.

These include muscular and nerve issues, problems associated with their digestive system, which is close to their genitalia, and numerous other discomforts and illnesses.

She hypothesized that even though society has made a great deal of progress in how it views women, gynecology and obstetrics still have a tendency to only see them as a means for reproduction.

She said that it was now time for gynecology to focus on women, which means taking a broader approach to women’s health, especially where menopause, sexuality and genitalia-related problems are concerned.

She added that even though a greater number of women were specializing in gynecology and obstetrics, there were still old assumptions that persist.

She concluded that real change could only happen when doctors are given proper training regarding women health, rights and sexuality.

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