One woman has shared she was prescribed antidepressants when she had acute pelvic pain that was stopping her sleeping and working.
She was later diagnosed with advanced endometriosis.
Ms Allan said the Victorian government is “continuing to listen to women and look at the changes we need to make”, which is why the inquiry is being launched.
She further explained they wanted to “understand” what needs to be done within the community, to ensure “women are heard and responded to”.
“It’s time we stopped treating women’s health like some kind of niche issue,” Ms Allan said. “We deserve to have our pain believed and relieved.”
The gender pain gap is even worse for women of colour.
A 2022 study exploring communication experiences in pain management of First Nations people in two rural communities found participants experienced discrimination from healthcare providers.
This deterred people from seeking care for their pain.
According to Painaustralia CEO Carol Bennett, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are at higher risk of living with painful conditions.
These communities said they did not feel culturally safe in hospitals, especially when there was no First Nations healthcare worker to provide support and alleviate their concerns.
News of the inquiry is being welcomed by the state’s female population.
Twenty-one-year-old Indi Wollard told the Carrie & Tommy radio show that, when she was 11, one doctor suggested the only way she would “fix” her endometriosis pain would be by having a baby.
“When I was 10 or 11, I got my first period. It was super painful,” Indi said.
“I would go to doctors, and they’d dismiss me saying it’s all in my head.”
Looking to the future, Indi shared the inquiry announcement is a glimmer of hope for women suffering or being ignored.
“I have hope for the younger generation now. It’s better that it’s getting more recognised, and groups out there that are making it more recognisable,” she said.
“But I’m angry because I was left without getting any help.”
Submissions can be made to the Inquiry into Women’s Pain here.