The Vagina Bible: The Vulva and the Vagina: Separating the Myth from the Medicine

The Vagina Bible: The Vulva and the Vagina: Separating the Myth from the Medicine

by Jennifer Gunter


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OB/GYN, writer for The New York TimesUSA Today, and Self, and host of the show Jensplaining, Dr. Jen Gunter now delivers the definitive book on vaginal health, answering the questions you’ve always had but were afraid to ask—or couldn’t find the right answers to. She has been called Twitter’s resident gynecologist, the Internet’s OB/GYN, and one of the fiercest advocates for women’s health…and she’s here to give you the straight talk on the topics she knows best.

Does eating sugar cause yeast infections?
Does pubic hair have a function?
Should you have a vulvovaginal care regimen?
Will your vagina shrivel up if you go without sex?
What’s the truth about the HPV vaccine?
So many important questions, so much convincing, confusing, contradictory misinformation! In this age of click bait, pseudoscience, and celebrity-endorsed products, it’s easy to be overwhelmed—whether it’s websites, advice from well-meaning friends, uneducated partners, and even healthcare providers. So how do you separate facts from fiction? OB-GYN Jen Gunter, an expert on women’s health—and the internet’s most popular go-to doccomes to the rescue with a book that debunks the myths and educates and empowers women. From reproductive health to the impact of antibiotics and probiotics, and the latest trends, including vaginal steaming, vaginal marijuana products, and jade eggs, Gunter takes us on a factual, fun-filled journey. Discover the truth about:

   • The vaginal microbiome
   • Genital hygiene, lubricants, and hormone myths and fallacies 
   • How diet impacts vaginal health
   • Stem cells and the vagina
   • Cosmetic vaginal surgery
   • What changes to expect during pregnancy and after childbirth
   • What changes to expect through menopause
   • How medicine fails women by dismissing symptoms


   • Thongs vs. lace: the best underwear for vaginal health
   • How to select a tampon
   • The full glory of the clitoris and the myth of the G Spot
. . . And so much more. Whether you’re a twenty-six-year-old worried that her labia are “uncool” or a sixty-six-year-old dealing with painful sex, this comprehensive guide is sure to become a lifelong trusted resource.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780806539317
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 08/27/2019
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 4,988
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

DR. JEN GUNTER, MD is an obstetrician and gynecologist with nearly three decades of experience as a vulvar and vaginal diseases expert. Known as the Gray Lady’s gynecologist, she writes two regular columns for The New York Times called “The Cycle” (monthly) and “You Asked” (weekly), and has written for a broad range of outlets, including USA Today, Cosmopolitan, SELF, The Cut, and many more. An ELLE Magazine Woman to Watch, Dr. Jen is the star of a CBC series called Jensplaining. For more information, visit her on Twitter @DrJenGunter.

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

Getting Started 1

1 The Vulva 3

2 The Vagina 13

3 Vaginas and Vulvas in Transition 22

4 Female Pleasure and Sex Ed 29

5 Pregnancy and Childbirth 41

Everyday Practicalities and V Maintenance 55

6 Medical Maintenance 57

7 Food and Vaginal Health 65

8 The Bottom Line on Underwear 72

9 The Lowdown on Lube 77

10 Kegel Exercises 83

Skin Care and Cleansing 91

11 Vulvar Cleansing: Soaps, Cleansers, and Wipes 93

12 Vaginal Cleansing: Douches, Steams, Sprays, and Potpourri 101

13 Hair Removal and Grooming 107

14 Moisturizers, Barriers, and Bath Products 119

Menstrual Products and Mythology 129

15 The Truth About Toxic Shock Syndrome 131

16 Are There Toxins in Tampons and Pads? 139

17 Menstrual Hygiene 143

Menopause 157

18 Menopause 159

19 Treating GSM 169

Medications and Interventions 181

20 Cannabis 183

21 Contraception 189

22 Antibiotics and Probiotics 195

23 Cosmetic Procedures, Injections, and "Rejuvenation" 204

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIS) 213

24 General STI Information 215

25 STI Prevention 223

26 The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) 234

27 Herpes (HSV) 244

28 Gonorrhea and Chlamydia 251

29 Trichomoniasis 257

30 Pubic Lice 264

Conditions 269

31 Yeast 271

32 Bacterial Vaginosis 281

33 Vulvodynia 289

34 Pelvic Floor Spasm and Vaginismus 297

35 Skin Conditions 305

36 UTIs and Bladder Pain Syndrome 313

37 Pelvic Organ Prolapse 320

Symptoms 325

38 Communicating with Your Provider 327

39 I Have Pain with Sex 335

40 I Have Vaginitis 342

41 I Have a Vulvar Itch 349

42 I Have Vulvar Pain 353

43 I Have an Odor 357

44 I Have Bleeding After Sex 363

Putting It All Together 371

45 Medicine Cabinet Rehab 373

46 Internet Hygiene and Apps 378

47 Journal of Old Wives' Tales 384

References 393

Acknowledgments 405

Index 407

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The Vagina Bible: The Vulva and the Vagina: Separating the Myth from the Medicine 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
ReaderWriterEditor 2 days ago
Thank you, Jennifer Gunter! I've read only the first 8 chapters and scanned the table of contents, but I already know this is a book I want to buy: crammed with facts I wish I'd known in my teens, and with a focus that places women's needs and women's information front and center (as opposed to 19th and 20th century medical thought that assumed that the patient was male and anything learned about men would apply to women --- or close enough).
LadyBooksalot More than 1 year ago
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.
LeighKramer More than 1 year ago
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.