Professor Hilary Critchley smiling for the camera.

I am a Clinical Academic and have the privilege of working with patients. This offers me the opportunity to understand the physiology and pathology that underpin complaints that affect, as many as, one in four women.

Professor Hilary Critchley

I work in the taboo area of menstrual disorders and these are conditions that have a massive impact on quality of life, particularly to the individual, her family, the workplace and wider society. We still don’t know why women have periods and why menstrual bleeding problems occur. It’s an increasingly prevalent issue because of the number of women in the workplace who are delaying starting families and need to preserve their wombs. My research team’s studies ‘at the bench’ aim to understand the biology of the womb lining (endometrium). We ask questions about what regulates normal menstruation and what is perturbed when women have problem periods.

I have the privilege of working with colleagues across a range of disciplines, and we hope to see our studies at the bench translated to the clinic. I am very grateful to the many women who have participated and continue to do so in our studies. In doing so, they are making a difference to how we approach this area of women’s health and widening their choices.

I always wanted to be a Doctor. My older brother, Julian, introduced me to the sphere of not just being a Doctor but also a researcher. He joins other role models, men and women, who have influenced me, provided terrific mentorship and offered unstinting support throughout my professional career.

It’s over thirty-five years since I qualified and I’ve seen the balance of men and women in the profession change. We see increasing numbers of women training as Doctors and we need to ensure that we see more women joining clinical academia.