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Women have to visit GP more times than men to get positive diagnosis

Thousands of women have seen their GP more than 11 times

British women have to visit their GP more times than men do to get a positive diagnosis, research shows.

A survey by lawyers Bolt Burdon Kemp, reported by the Mirror, found 476,000 British women have had to visit their GP more than 11 times for a positive diagnosis, yet only a third as many men have ­experienced the same difficulty.

It comes after a study of seven million patients over 21 years reported that women are diagnosed later than men across 700 diseases. A diabetes diagnosis for female patients will come four-and-a-half years later than one for a man and, on average, women with cancer are diagnosed two-and-a-half years later.

Meanwhile, when it comes to heart attacks differences in care for women are estimated to have contributed to at least 8,200 avoidable deaths in England and Wales in the last decade, according to British Heart Foundation-funded research.

When it comes to pain, women are regularly told that something very real is imagined or exaggerated – particularly when the issue is pelvic or related to the menstrual cycle.

Faye Farthing, of Endometriosis UK, said: “It takes, on average, 7.5 years or 10 GP appointments before women are finally referred for ­treatment and receive a diagnosis for endometriosis. Women are all often told that chronic pelvic pain is ‘normal’ or ‘in their head’.”