"Advice on Womens Health"

About: Wessex

(as the patient),

Woman Gp no1. Suggests prescribing a drug off licence in response to perimenopausal symptoms, though on asking what that means (prescribing off licence), does not do so. Goes on to offer a patient.co.uk webpage on menopausal therapies and tells me to come back and see her when I've decided what I want to do. This is the first time I've met this GP, so I have no established patient-doctor relationship with her and its the first time that I'm seeking advice on unscheduled bleeding. The upside of this consultation is she arranged the necessary trans vaginal scan, and RHCH, Winchester imaging team provide the scan report.

Woman Gp no2. Again I am meeting this doctor for the first time. The scan has identified a small uterine polyp measuring about 0.5cm in all dimensions. This doctor tells me I should be seen by the RHCH clinical team to have the polyp removed. She does not ask me if I have had any symptoms in the intervening time - three months - and does not explain why this is her recommended approach.

You may gather I'm not the sort of woman who is told what my decision should be, and I decline the referral, being symptom-free.

Again, I'm given a patient.co.uk webpage to read on polyps: the risk of sinister pathology is 1:200, so very low.

About 10 days later, I receive an unsolicited phone call from this doctor asking if I had had time to reconsider my decision in light of the webpage content. I say I have read the page, and have not changed my mind, especially in light of the low risk.

What follows still leaves me incredulous, as she speculates that the scan finding could be indicative of cancer! I refer her back to the webpage assertion about low risk and end the call.

Overall, poor handling by women GPs leaves one feeling that one should not assume that because they're women they can provide supportive advice and guidance.

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