NHS removes words ‘woman’ and ‘women’ from menopause page

The health service previously removed the words from other web pages

The NHS has removed the words “woman” and “women” from its menopause page as part of an update to increase inclusive language in its web pages.

The latest update comes after the health service removed the same words from its online ovarian cancer guidance earlier this month.

At the time, health secretary Sajid Javid criticised the removal of the word from the NHS’ advice pages and said he did not “think it’s right”.

Previously, the menopause page introduced the condition with the sentence: “The menopause is when a woman stops having periods and is no longer able to get pregnant naturally.”

It also previously said: “The menopause is a natural part of ageing that usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age, as a woman’s oestrogen levels decline.

“In the UK, the average age for a woman to reach the menopause is 51.”

The current page for menopause now reads: “Menopause is when your periods stop due to lower hormone levels. This usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55.”

An NHS Digital spokesperson said in a statement: “The NHS website provides information for everyone. We keep the pages under continual review to ensure they use language that is inclusive, respectful, and relevant to the people reading it.”

Commenting on the health service dropping the words earlier this month, Javid said he was “looking into” the change in wording.

“You won’t be surprised to know that, as health secretary, I think that your sex matters, your biological sex is incredibly important to make sure you get the right treatment, the very best treatment,” he told Sky News.

“I know there’s some sensitivity around this language, but we have to use common sense and use the right language so that we can give people the best possible patient care.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in