‘Lazy uterus’ and ‘geriatric mother’: The women trying to stop doctors using ‘outdated’ terminology

Campaigners are demanding we update the damaging medical terminology used towards women, writes Jade Bremner

Friday 16 April 2021 15:58
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“The term ‘vanishing twin’ makes my blood run cold,” says Sam, on Peanut, the networking app for women, in a post about the phrase used when she miscarried one of her twins. “It made me feel like the other baby never existed and it wasn’t okay to mourn them”.

In another heartfelt post on Peanut, a woman said on video that she felt “inadequate and guilty and lacking as a woman” after being told by her doctor that at age 35 she was considered a “geriatric mum”. The woman explains that mental health needs to be more of a consideration in the medical community. “It’s unfortunate that the term ‘geriatric mum’ doesn’t take in to account a woman’s mental health as well as her physical health. I deserve to feel hopeful and empowered, and instead, I just feel so shi**ty right now.”

The number of women having babies in their 40s has more than doubled in 10 years and over-35s now have the fastest-growing birthrates, according to an article published in the US National Libary of Medicine. More women will be experiencing this negative terminology as a result.

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