Tara Parker-Pope has a blog post about how doctors will treat women of childbearing age as “pre-pregnant,” focusing on their reproductive capacities to the detriment of their overall health. Obviously reproductive matters are an important part of overall health and can influence many other medical conditions. But so can a lot of other common issues: neurological and psychological problems, drug-related issues, alcohol and tobacco habits, gastrointestinal issues, and so on all have a huge effect on a person’s overall health. Yet these issues do not command the same attention from many doctors, who focus on the potential for a pregnancy rather than on the woman as a whole patient. As a consequence, the woman’s health suffers.
The comments section of the post is enlightening and makes it clear that this is an issue many women face and are extremely angry about. There are also a few dismissive comments telling women to “get over it,” displaying the ignorance and foolishness that enable these attitudes in the first place.