Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Vagina Bible: The Vulva and the Vagina: Separating the Myth from the Medicine based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Wish I had this book when I was a teenager. Dr. Gunter debunks not only myths and old wives tales but also current advice that is purported as true by well-meaning folks and even some in the medical field. Heard over and over that I need to be my own advocate when it comes to my health. This book is so full of detailed information, which is backed up with references, that it belongs in every female household! Women should tell other women; mothers to daughters; and, yes, even to the male population. There’s no excuse for being ignorant while a book with current, detailed information is here to help all women from teen through those golden years. I received an advanced reader copy from NetGalley in exchange for my volunteer review.
I’m going to make a bold claim: if you are a person with a vagina, you need this book. Whether you read it front to back or use it as a resource tool, it is one of the most important books I’ve read for my own health and well-being and I commend it to everyone. I’m a relatively informed cis-het woman and I still learned so much in this book. Dr. Jen Gunter writes in an accessible, engaging style. Her astute insights and observations are interspersed with humor and wit. Her goal is to empower and inform and she more than did the job. I especially appreciated how she showed the role of patriarchy in women’s health: "Medicine has been steeped in man-splaining from the start.” We need so much more research and information on vaginas and vulvas and she is shining a bright light for us. There are chapters like how to discuss concerns with your doctor, as well as chapters on topics like menopause, genital hygiene, Toxic Shock Syndrome (not as big of a risk as I thought!), and hair removal. It’s one of the most thorough resources I’ve ever read and I feel so much more empowered as a result, as well as more aware of what I didn’t know before because of how little good information is out there. We are constantly exposed to poor research and often gaslit for our concerns so it is beyond helpful to have a guide at the ready should you experience any symptoms or receive a diagnosis. This is a truly inclusive book. Chapter 3 is specifically about trans people: Vaginas and Vulvas in Transition. It was so great to see the various concerns and barriers to care addressed. Throughout the book, she specifically notes risk factors and concerns for those who are lesbian, bisexual, or trans. The myth-busting portions proved to be particularly valuable, whether it was something I’d heard or done before or not. For instance, I was flummoxed to learn wearing cotton underwear to prevent yeast infections is a myth. Something I've heard my whole life! But there’s negligible research to prove that claim, no matter how often I’ve heard that advice. Same goes with peeing after sex to prevent a UTI. Two studies showed there is no correlation there. Related to all this myth-busting is Gunter’s stringent research methodology. She takes great pains to reference when research has been negligible, when sample sizes are too small to give us clear results, when more search is needed, and so on. She backs up her work and shows where more information was needed to make a determination. There’s also an entire chapter on how to evaluate medical research, which includes how to determine whether bias is at play and where to even start online. As someone who was a sociology major, I wish this was something more people knew, particularly how to evaluate research quality, so I was glad to see her lay it out. I’ll be recommending this one to everyone I know. All my gratitude to Dr. Gunter for writing it. Disclosure: I received an advanced copy from Citadel Press in exchange for an honest review.