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Women's symptoms ignored by GPs - campaigners

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Women's symptoms ignored by GPs - campaigners

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Too many women feel fobbed off or not listened to when they raise concerns about their health, according to a women's health campaign group.

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The Women's Health Wales coalition says women are often misdiagnosed or have to push for a diagnosis.

The theme has emerged repeatedly during BBC Wales interviews with women.

The Welsh government said it had set out what's expected of the NHS on women's health, and a full plan is due to be published this autumn.

"From the moment I went to my GP about my symptoms in my late teens, I have always felt dismissed," said Jessica Ricketts, 35.

"I still have to fight for people to believe my symptoms are as bad as they are," said Kim Williams, 36.

Their situations are similar - both live in Barry, each is married with a young daughter and both women have been diagnosed with endometriosis.

It's a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows elsewhere inside the body - often around reproductive organs, bowel and bladder - and which causes bleeding.

But the feeling of being fobbed off has cropped up in countless conversations with women whether it be in relation to a heart attack, UTI, stroke, autism or even brain tumour.

"Patients have told us that clinicians thought they were having a panic attack rather than a heart attack," said Gemma Roberts, policy and public affairs manager at British Heart Foundation Cymru, and co-chair of the Women's Health Wales coalition.

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