Recent Releases: Women's Health

American women visit more doctors, have more surgery, and fill more prescriptions than men. Women are half as likely to be treated for a heart attack as men and twice as likely to die six months after discharge.

These are just a few of the staggering statistics about women’s health. These recently-released books are bringing much-needed attention to the disparities in research, investments and understanding around women’s health and, in the process, empowering new advocates for needed change at scale and in our own lives.

 
 

American women visit more doctors, have more surgery, and fill more prescriptions than men. In Everything Below the Waist, Jennifer Block asks: Why is the life expectancy of women today declining relative to women in other high-income countries, and even relative to the generation before them? Block examines several staples of modern women's health care, from fertility technology to contraception to pelvic surgery to miscarriage treatment, and finds that while overdiagnosis and overtreatment persist in medicine writ large, they are particularly acute for women.

Feminism turned the world upside down, yet to a large extent the doctors' office has remained stuck in time. Block returns to the 1970s women's health movement to understand how in today's supposed age of empowerment, women's bodies are still so vulnerable to medical control―particularly their sex organs, and as result, their sex lives.

In this urgent book, Block tells the stories of patients, clinicians, and reformers, uncovering history and science that could revolutionize the standard of care, and change the way women think about their health. Everything Below the Waist challenges all people to take back control of their bodies.

 
 

One in ten women worldwide have endometriosis, yet is is funded at 5% of the rate of diabetes; women are half as likely to be treated for a heart attack as men and twice as likely to die six months after discharge; over half of women who are eventually diagnosed with an autoimmune disease will be told they are hypochondriacs or have a mental illness. These are just a few of the shocking statistics explored in this book.

In 2015, Guardian journalist Gabrielle Jackson wrote a piece about her own struggles with the crippling pain caused by endometriosis. It triggered such an overwhelming response that the Guardian launched a world-wide investigation into the disease. This time the response was so huge it almost crashed their website. Thousands contacted the Guardian and hundreds of thousands more read and shared the material.

This was the catalyst for Gabrielle thinking more widely about women's pain and how it is viewed and treated not just by the medical profession but wider society. The stark reality is that women's pain is not taken as seriously as that of men's. We are more likely to be dismissed, fobbed off and denied treatment than men even though our bodies are vastly more complex.

This book is not just about physical pain, in fact that's a small part of it. It's about how women historically and through to the present day are under-served by the systems that should keep us happy, healthy, and informed about our bodies. What began as one issue has led Jackson to explore many. This book understands all the private moments where you have murmured 'is this right', 'is this normal' and explains why... that the system was built without ever understanding women or responding to their most painful experiences.

 
 

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.

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.

 
 

This groundbreaking book sheds light on how hormonal birth control affects women--and the world around them--in ways we are just now beginning to understand. By allowing women to control their fertility, the birth control pill has revolutionized women's lives. Women are going to college, graduating, and entering the workforce in greater numbers than ever before, and there's good reason to believe that the birth control pill has a lot to do with this. But there's a lot more to the pill than meets the eye.

This paradigm-shattering book provides an even-handed, science-based understanding of who women are, both on and off the pill. It will change the way that women think about their hormones and how they view themselves. It also serves as a rallying cry for women to demand more information from science about how their bodies and brains work and to advocate for better research. This book will help women make more informed decisions about their health, whether they're on the pill or off it.

 
 

Feeling different, especially as a kid, can be tough. But in the same way that different types of plants and flowers make a garden more beautiful and enjoyable, different types of people make our world more vibrant and wonderful.

In Just Ask, United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor celebrates the different abilities kids (and people of all ages) have. Using her own experience as a child who was diagnosed with diabetes, Justice Sotomayor writes about children with all sorts of challenges--and looks at the special powers those kids have as well. As the kids work together to build a community garden, asking questions of each other along the way, this book encourages readers to do the same: When we come across someone who is different from us but we're not sure why, all we have to do is Just Ask.

Looking for the best book and gift recommendations for you and/or the badass women in your life?

Visit our Badass Women’s Book Club Online Store!

Gina Warner