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The Pain Gap

Empowering Voices, Embracing Empathy for Pelvic Health

MA 22/23
Bridging the Gap , Women in Healthcare , Empathy in Medicine , Pelvic Pain, Humanise Healthcare, Care for Women

Women have long endured the burden of being unheard and disregarded when expressing their pain. In particular, when women describe their symptoms of chronic pelvic pain, they struggle to be taken seriously and are often misinterpreted as experiencing anxiety, sexual issues, or period pain. Rooted in underlying sexism, this problem undermines women's experiences and hampers their access to timely care. On average, women experience a staggering four-year delay in receiving the proper diagnosis for their pain.

Our project is dedicated to tackling this critical issue by improving communication about pelvic pain between female patients and general practitioners. We strive to amplify women's voices, advocate for their recognition, and foster empathy in healthcare. We aim to bridge the gap in understanding and provide better support for women experiencing pelvic pain.

Through collaboration with medical experts and organizations like Medical Herstory, we shed light on the alarming gap in women's healthcare. Join us as we work towards a more equitable and empathetic approach to women's healthcare.


With the support of our partner, Medical Herstory and the founder Tori Ford, there has been a significant impact on the project. Their expertise and extensive research in the field has provided valuable inputs and feedback, enriching our work. Additionally, we have had the opportunity to connect with some incredible women who have shared powerful stories. Their lived experiences have shaped our project, bringing in the much-needed change it requires today.

Medical Herstory is an Award-winning, youth-led, international not-for-profit organization which is dedicated to eliminating sexism, shame, and stigma from health experiences through storytelling, medical education, patient advocacy.


The historical exclusion of women from healthcare

For far too long, women have been overlooked in clinical research, and even when pain medications were introduced in medicine, they were often denied to women due to misguided beliefs that they should endure the pain, especially during childbirth. This unfortunate history has led to a significant gap in our understanding of women's bodies. Today, we can see the consequences, as it takes an average of 7-8 years to diagnose conditions like endometriosis.

Our approach

Research Driven - Rooted in voices and stories of women

Understanding women's health goes beyond data; it encompasses their lived experiences. Through rigorous research, we uncovered valuable insights and advancements. Yet, connecting on a human level is crucial. By listening to their stories, we understand their unique challenges. Each woman's journey is a testament to the complexities of healthcare. Embracing their stories brings empathy and authenticity to our project. We conduct research informed by real-life perspectives, reflecting diverse realities.

Consider Speed -  Simple intervention for implementation

Our vision is a simple and user-friendly solution that is embraced by everyone. By prioritizing simplicity and removing complexity, we make our intervention accessible to all. We firmly believe in the transformative power of simplicity to bring meaningful change and improve lives.

Create impact - Present a variety of ideas to prototype and test

We believe in exploring multiple possibilities to ensure comprehensive evaluation and validation of concepts. By offering a variety of options, we can capture different perspectives, consider various scenarios, and address potential challenges. This approach encourages creativity, innovation, and adaptability throughout the prototyping and testing phases.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to enhance and humanize communication between patients and General Practitioners (GPs), with a specific focus on improving the diagnostic process by effectively identifying chronic pelvic pain as a symptom.

Touchpoint: Patients and General Practitioner

The initial interaction between women and their healthcare providers is of utmost importance as it lays the foundation for building trust. It is crucial to make women feel truly heard and believed, which may seem simple but is often lacking in their experiences. We are committed to changing this narrative and ensuring that women feel validated and understood from the very beginning, fostering a sense of trust and empowering them to actively participate in their healthcare journey.



We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to our tutor, Clive Grinyer, for his unwavering support and guidance throughout this project. Additionally, we extend our deep appreciation to Medical Herstory and its founder, Tori Ford, for their partnership. Their professional insights and the opportunities they provided to conduct firsthand research in the field of women's healthcare have been instrumental in shaping our project. We would also like to extend a special thanks to Demetra Georgiou, who supported us throughout the project. And lastly, we are grateful to all the women interviewed and healthcare professionals for their valuable time and insights. Without the contributions of these individuals, our project would not have been possible, and we truly appreciate their involvement and dedication.

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