01/09/2013 18:09 BST | Updated 01/11/2013 05:12 GMT

Why Is Women's Health Still a Joke?

I am the director of Wellbeing of Women and consider myself privileged to be working for a fantastic charity that prioritises women's health.

My own feeling is that female wellbeing is still vastly under resourced, and often our more personal health issues are considered taboo or somehow trivial. Many women are slow to take the time to go to their doctor and poorly informed about the possible causes leading to delayed diagnosis and treatment.

I expect you have seen the brilliant adverts on TV that catalogue all the diseases that research has beaten and tell us that "Research will beat Cancer". Wellbeing of Women is a medical research charity that funds doctors, midwives and scientists to work out how to 'beat' the health problems that affect women and their babies.

Isn't it terrible that babies die and nobody can tell the parents why? Isn't it awful that women desperate for children suffer repeated miscarriages and doctors can't identify the reason? Couples go through the rigours and expense of IVF that doesn't work but no one can tell them why? Over two million women in the UK struggle through their lives with the pain of endometriosis but there still isn't a cure? Why is the menopause or PMS still a joke when it prevents women leaving their homes and sometimes results in them giving up their careers?

At Wellbeing of Women we believe that men and women deserve answers to all these questions and many more. For nearly 50 years we have raised money to fund the very best researchers to find the answers. Along the way we have enabled advances in pregnancy care through improved monitoring using ultrasound, better diagnostic tests to find out if there are problems with a pregnancy, identify the reason and learn how to fix it. We have established treatments that help premature babies survive and now we are working to find out why some babies are born too soon and how we can prevent that.

One of our researchers was first to establish that cervical cancer was caused by a virus. This breakthrough led to the cervical cancer screening programme which has saved thousands of lives, and now the HPV vaccination.

Just last year our researchers proved that Botox is a viable treatment for incontinence, especially when other treatments prove ineffective. One in three women suffer from some form of incontinence.

Another team are improving treatments for babies born brain damaged because of lack of oxygen during birth. The treatments are working and some babies are able to grow up without disability.

I grew up with science. My father, a former government chief engineer and scientist, brought me up to believe that science and technology could solve problems and improve lives. My family saw improvements in science and engineering create new jobs and new products. I believe that research is the only way to 'beat' disease and that we deserve the chance for better health.

There is no better investment than the health of our nation. Next time you or one of your family recovers from an illness please remember that it is research that beats disease. Research makes a difference every day to you and the person sitting next to you.

I hope that you will join us and invest in research with Wellbeing of Women.