Today’s podcast is “for anyone who has a vagina or vulva or who is vagina-vulva-adjacent.” Dr. Jen Gunter is an OB/GYN, pain medicine physician, a fierce advocate for women’s health and author of The Vagina Bible- currently the #1 non-fiction book on the Canadian bestsellers list.
Dr. Gunter has been called Twitter’s resident gynecologist, the Internet’s OB/GYN, and has been actively taking down snake oil by combining science and clinical experience. Today we discuss her latest book- The Vagina Bible- and bring to light the things you need to know about women’s health.
0:00 – Who is Dr. Jen Gunter?
3:10 – We dive right in and discuss the patriarchal shame that has driven the idea that vagina’s need to be cleansed. FYI they do not. It is a self-cleaning oven.
7:30 – What about the use of cleansers? Can you and should you change the pH of your vagina?
10:50 – We discuss PMS and PMDD
13:00 – How common are yeast infections and how to best prevent them?
16:00 – Are there health risks with removing pubic hair?
23:00 – We talk about libido issues, causes and solutions
– Better Sex Through Mindfulness, by Dr. Lori Brotto
26:30 – A quick discussion about chronic pain and habit formation
28:00 – The Illusory Truth Effect
31:00 – We talk forms of contraception and why condoms are the best for vaginal health
33:55 – Another quick hit on recurrent yeast infections
36:15 – What are the must-haves for your vaginal-vulvar health regimens?
38:15 – The Top 3 red flags to look for in women’s health articles that you should avoid.
40:50 – Dain tee’s Dr. Gunter up to peddle her book and she shows her selflessness! But our book recommendation here is clear:
– The Vagina Bible, by Dr. Jen Gunter
“For anyone who has a vagina or vulva or who is vagina-vulva-adjacent.”
41:50 – Dr. Gunter’s non-negotiable self-care tool: Exercise.
43:10 – Dr. Gunter’s one piece of advice for your health.
44:50 – Where you can find Dr. Gunter and buy The Vagina Bible!
More about The Vagina Bible:
The Vagina Bible was released in Canada on August 20 and by August 21st was on the Toronto Star best seller list!
Starred review From Publisher’s Weekly:
Empowerment of women through accurate information about their own bodies is the “vagenda” of ob-gyn and New York Times columnist Gunter’s comprehensive, pseudoscience-bashing discussion of all things vaginal and vulvar. Gunter begins with anatomy (including information for trans men with vulvas and trans women with vaginoplasties) and continues with some basic sex ed, focusing on female arousal while debunking the G-spot. Mixing medical background with simple, practical advice, Gunter covers health concerns she often encounters in her own practice, such as sexually transmitted infections, and the basic functions of the vulva and vagina at specific times of life—menstruation, pregnancy and birth, and menopause. Gunter is at her most vehement when advising her readers to leave healthy vaginas alone, reassuring them that yearly pelvic exams are not necessary, while also taking on non evidence-based “natural” practices like vaginal steaming and Internet-propagated misinformation in general. Most valuably, she uses her expertise to clearly describe what to expect during healthcare sessions, giving excellent advice about effectively communicating with medical professionals. Gunter approachably, respectfully, and even playfully presents a huge amount of reproductive and sexual health education information to women, with the assurance that they can use it.– PW
In the United States order online at these fine retailers:
And the audio version (read by Dr. Gunter herself) from High Bridge Audio, order via this link
In Canada you can order from any of your favourite book sellers via this link
In the UK you can order from any of your favourite book sellers via this link
More about Dr. Jen Gunter:
Dr. Gunter is an OB/GYN and a pain medicine physician. She’s been called Twitter’s resident gynecologist, the Internet’s OB/GYN, and one of the fiercest advocate’s for women’s health. She has devoted her professional life to caring for women.
Her purpose is to build a better medical Internet, as you can’t be empowered about your health if you have incorrect information. Dr. Gunter became interested in online snake oil and dubious science when her own children were born extremely prematurely. She found separating the facts from the fiction difficult (and she’s a doctor!), so she started thinking that if this was hard for her, how does everyone else manage? It put the bad information that her own patients were bringing into the office in perspective. She knows people sit up late at night Googling things and fall down rabbit holes of misinformation because she’s been there too!
She first started her quest to help provide quality information by writing a book, The Preemie Primer, a guide for parents of premature babies. After her kids got a little older and we were spending less time in intensive care units (it was a rough first few years), she decided to turn her attention to reproductive health, because it seemed the Internet was (and is) infested with snake oil and malignant misinformation.
In addition to her academic publications, her writing has appeared in places like The New York Times, The Cut, USA Today, The Hill, and Self. She broke the news that Dr. Ben Carson had his name on a paper that used aborted fetuses for research (he had claimed that aborted fetal tissues was never needed. Ever.). She took on the Toronto Star (and won) when they published a tabloid-worthy piece on the HPV vaccine. She was the person who drew attention to Trump’s information deficient medical letter.
Dr. Gunter’s latest book is called The Vagina Bible. It’s every single thing she wants women (and men) to know about the lower reproductive tract.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Canada, Dr. Gunter graduated from The University of Manitoba School of Medicine in 1990 at the age of 23. In 1995 she completed her OB/GYN training at the University of Western Ontario and moved to the United States to complete a fellowship in infectious diseases at the University of Kansas. After completing her fellowship she continued her studies in pain medicine. She is a board certified in OB/GYN in both Canada and the United States. She is also board certified in pain medicine by the American Board of Pain Medicine and by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; that’s why she has so many letters after her name.
Dr. Gunter has two boys who are budding skeptics and keep her so honest it hurts and a third who died at birth (which hurts in a different way). She also has a lab named Hazel and a one-eyed cat named Luna who is often the star of her Twitter and Instagram feeds.
Connect with Dr. Gunter:
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Thank you and stay tuned for the next episode!