Women’s Health Matters at Irish Life

28th August 2023

Posted In: Be In The Frame

More than half of women in Ireland are worried about a female health issue, regardless of the stage of life they are in, according to a new survey.

This relates to concerns around contraception, fertility and infertility, menstrual issues as well as perimenopause and menopause. The research was commissioned by Irish Life Health, one of Ireland’s leading health insurance providers. Irish Life Health recently announced a new first-of-its-kind female health GP consultation benefit dedicated to meeting the demand for more specialised health services for women.

The survey, which was carried out amongst women aged 18+, revealed insights into perceptions of female healthcare in Ireland.

Over half of respondents believe female healthcare is not well serviced in Ireland, while 38% are finding it difficult to get fast access to specialist female health expertise.

The research also revealed the main concerns among different age groups of women in Ireland, which found:

•four in ten 18-24-year-olds in Ireland are worried about menstruation issues

•four in ten 25-34-year-olds are worried about fertility issues

•almost half of 35-54-year-olds are worried about perimenopause or menopause

While the research shows there are significant levels of concern about female health issues, the responses demonstrate confidence in taking action.

89% of women believe they know their body better than anyone, and more than 8 in 10 women are eager to understand more about their health.

The Female Health Consultation benefit by Irish Life Health is the first of its kind in Ireland, offering members access to GPs who specialise in female health, for support and advice in the areas of menstrual health, fertility, contraception, perimenopause and menopause, amongst others.

Dr Maire Finn, one of the specialist GPs delivering this service for Irish Life Health, comments:

“These statistics are not surprising to me as a GP as every day in my practice I hear women’s concerns about their menstrual cycle, their fertility, menopause, and the impact these issues have on their everyday lives.

This research tells us that women feel they know their bodies but equally want to know more about health matters that relate specifically to them. It shows that there is work to be done to provide more specialised care in the area of women’s health. This new female health service that Irish Life Health is launching, is a timely and important step in providing the specialised care and information that all women need and want.”

In announcing the new benefit, Liz Rowen, Head of Marketing, Irish Life Health said: “Our research showed that women understand their own bodies, and they know when something isn’t right, but a large proportion of them don’t have the opportunity to talk to someone who really understands their individual concern. Our members will now have the opportunity to have their health concerns heard through a dedicated and specialised female health service, which is available on all Irish Life Health hospital plans from the 1st of September.” 

Other key findings from the research include:

•Only half of women (51%) feel like they truly understand their menstrual cycle

•62% of women get their health information from family and friends, while 59% source their information through social media and online platforms

The new specialist female health GP consultation service will offer Irish Life Health members a GP consultation by phone or video, a recommended course of action and, if needed, an in-person appointment at one of Centric Health’s specialist female health clinics across Ireland.

Pictured at the launch of Irish Life Health’s female health campaign are Dr. Máire Finn , Aoibhín Garrihy, Chelsea Farrell and Stefanie Preissner.  (Image: Orla Murray/Coalesce).