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Naga Munchetty: I was failed and gaslit by NHS despite debilitating periods

Naga Munchetty has said she spent decades being failed, gaslit and “never taken seriously” by doctors, despite suffering debilitatingly heavy periods, repeated vomiting and pain so severe that she would lose consciousness.

The BBC presenter, newsreader and journalist told the Commons women and equalities committee on Wednesday that she was “deemed normal” and told to “suck it up” by NHS GPs and doctors during the 35 years she sought help for her symptoms.

Munchetty was finally diagnosed with adenomyosis, a condition where the lining of the womb starts growing into the muscle in its walls, in November last year.

She said she was consistently told by doctors that “everyone goes through this”.

“I was especially told this by male doctors who have never experienced a period but also by female doctors who hadn’t experienced period pain,” said Munchetty.

Munchetty’s diagnosis came after she had bled heavily for two weeks and experienced pain so severe she asked her husband to call an ambulance. Only then was she taken seriously, seeing a GP who specialised in women’s reproductive health. That GP advised her to use private healthcare to avoid lengthy NHS waiting lists.

Munchetty and Vicky Pattison, a television and media personality, were giving evidence as part of the committee’s inquiry into the challenges that women face being diagnosed and treated for gynaecological and reproductive conditions.

The committee is also considering any disparities that exist in diagnosis and treatment, and the impact of women’s experiences on their health and lives.

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Source: The Guardian, 19 October 2023


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