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This blog post originally appeared on The Rebel Mama and is reposted here with permission.

Over the past several years, we’ve been privy to myriad stories from women in our community who did not receive the medical care they needed when they needed it most.  Their stories of missed diagnoses and misdiagnoses are part of a phenomenon called the women’s healthcare gap: a term used to describe the disparity in care between female patients and their male counterparts.

So what’s to blame for the healthcare gap? According to the Women’s Health Collective Canada (a strategic alliance founded by three of the country’s leading women’s health and hospital foundations – BC Women’s Health Foundation, Alberta Women’s Health Foundation, and Women’s College Hospital Foundation), it’s caused by a lack of research and awareness of the health issues affecting women.

“Without research, doctors are not equipped. Without research, women’s health experiences are not validated, and without research, women are unable to live their lives to the fullest, participate in our economy, and lead communities.” – Sharlene Rutherford President and Chief Executive Officer Alberta Women’s Health Foundation

The WHCC has set out to increase awareness and research and we’re helping to amplify their call for public support.

Seeing the sheer number of women whose health and wellbeing have suffered due to a lack of understanding of the female body is what made us instant supporters of the WHCC’s mission, so we thought we’d give you a chance to get acquainted with these stories as well. They were all submitted by women in our private forum – their names have been omitted to protect their privacy.