As a teenager, Kelly Moran was incredibly sporty: she loved to run and went to dancing lessons four times a week. But by the time she hit 29, she could barely walk or even drive, no longer able to do all the activities she once enjoyed. She had pain radiating into her legs.
Her pain was repeatedly dismissed by doctors, who told her it was in her head. She moved back to her parents’ house in Manchester and left her job. She decided to seek treatment privately and was told she had endometriosis. Soon, with the right treatment, her life improved.
Kelly is among dozens of women who got in touch to share their stories with the Guardian on the topic of women’s pain. Women are almost twice as likely to be prescribed powerful and potentially addictive opiate painkillers than men, a Guardian analysis shows. Data from the NHS Business Services Authority, which deals with prescription services in England, shows a large disparity in the number of women being given these drugs compared with men, with 761,641 women receiving painkiller prescriptions compared with 443,414 men, or 1.7 times, and the pattern is similar across broad age categories.
The women who reached out said they felt that they were often “fobbed off” with painkillers when their problems required medical investigation.
Source: The Guardian, 16 February 2021
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