Have your say on women’s pain


Women, their family members and healthcare professionals are being urged to make submissions to Victoria’s Inquiry into Women’s Pain.

The inquiry will examine systemic issues and solutions and hear directly from women across Victoria and is led by a panel of experts and overseen by the Women’s Health Advisory Council.

According to the health department, submissions can be about experiences of pain and pain care, treatment or services received in Victoria.

The pain can be the result of an injury or trauma, dental pain, joint pain, or musculoskeletal pain, or relate to heart, neurological, reproductive, autoimmune or other health conditions.

The experiences of healthcare workers who have worked with women and girls with pain are also being sought.

The inquiry was launched by the state government following the release of a landmark survey earlier this year, which confirmed what women already know: their pain is real – and regularly overlooked.

Survey results revealed that close to half of all women are impacted by issues related to their periods, pregnancy, birth and postnatal care, or conditions like endometriosis.

Nearly 60 per cent of participants reported having had positive healthcare interactions. But one in three said they’d experienced insensitive and disrespectful practitioners who left them feeling dismissed and unheard.

Findings from the survey included:

* Four in 10 Victorian women live with chronic pain;

* About half of participants reported that period-related conditions (heavy periods, cramping, PMS) affected their health and wellbeing;

* Similarly, about 50 per cent said that pregnancy and birth complications continued to impact their health;

* About 30 per cent said they were affected by the symptoms of perimenopause or menopause;

* Thirty per cent said conditions such as endometriosis, menopause and chronic pain led to poor mental health;

* One in three have health conditions that affect their ability to work and keep a job; and

* Twenty per cent said they missed out on social connections because of their health.

Submissions can be made until July 31 and recommendation from the inquiry will be used to improve care for women in Victoria.

Details: health.vic.gov.au/public-health/inquiry-into-womens-pain.