Some six in 10 Dutch women under the age of 40 would prefer to see a female doctor for intimate issues such as cervical smears, according to research by women’s magazine Libelle and the Dutch patients’ federation.
Over 25% of all women would rather have a female doctor altogether, but this rises to 40% for specifically female issues such as period pain, the research showed.
Much of this is due to embarrassment about their bodies and one in eight women will delay a visit to a doctor if they are confronted with a male doctor, the survey said.
Professor Toine Lagro told the magazine that such a high percentage cannot be ignored. ‘This means that women should be given the option of seeing a female doctor,’ Lagro said.
Some 38% of the 7,000 people questioned for the research did not know they have that right, Lagro said.
Women now account for more than half the country’s family doctors and two-thirds of the current generation of medical students are female.