The no-nonsense books that are educating women about their health

To put it bluntly, being a woman is hard work.

Our human rights are under attack, there’s inequalities in healthcare and to get a doctor to take us seriously, sometimes we have to kick up a serious fuss.

A friend once told me that a doctor said to her ‘women tend to diagnose themselves’.

And while we don’t love the blatant sexism, he had a point.

Women can be forced to research their symptoms and push for the diagnosis they need because often, they aren’t taken seriously. Especially when it comes to gynaecological problems.

Female pain has a history of being dismissed and research into common but debilitating conditions, such as endometriosis, is severely neglected and underfunded.

To make it worse, when we do receive a diagnosis that finally gives us a feeling of validation, there is so much conflicting advice from various doctors that it makes it impossible to manage symptoms consistently and effectively.

That’s why it’s so important to get to know our bodies, the conditions that can affect women and how to spot and manage them.

We’ve got a round up of the no-nonsense books that will tell you everything you need to know about women’s health – all written by women.

The Female Factor by Dr Hazel Wallace

Simply put, this is our bible and it should be yours.

Dr Hazel Wallace founded her platform The Food Medic, an educational blog and podcast about diet and health.

Now Dr Wallace has released The Female Factor which is a bold, comprehensive and easy to follow guide for countless aspects of women’s health.

The book is built off of the frustration that women’s health is lumped in with male health.

‘The male body has always been the default body in clinical medicine, making the assumption that women are just smaller versions of men. This could not be more wrong,’ Dr Wallace says.

It covers what vitamin and mineral requirements are important at certain points of women’s lives, to gynaecological issues and how to tackle them with your diet.

It also covers to how to eat to ease the menopausal transition and staying active during pregnancy as well as countless other female specific issues.

It’s practical and no-nonsense. It’s safe to say we are Dr Wallace’s number one fans.

Buy for £17.33 from Amazon.

Cracking the Menopause: While keeping yourself together by Mariella Frostrup and Alice Smellie

Menopause will happen to every woman, which means half the world’s population will suffer through a transition which has been sorely overlooked in medical research.

This authoritative guide on managing your symptoms from perimenopause onwards debunks the myths, provides case studies and interviews from experts as well as the occasional giggle.

There’s every professional’s advice you could ever dream of from gynaecologists, psychologists, sleep specialists and nutritionists.

Buy for £9.99 from Waterstones.

Breasts: The Owner’s Manual by Dr Kristi Funk

Did you know that 87% of women diagnosed with breast cancer don’t have a single first-degree relative with the illness? No we didn’t either, and that lack of information really gets on our tits.

Dr Kristi Funk is a breast cancer surgeon and provides a comprehensive guide of caring for your breasts, understanding them, reducing your cancer risk and alerting you to treatments.

This is a must read for all women with no-nonsense information about what is within your control and what is not. It’s received heaps of praise for a reason.

Buy for £10.23 from Amazon.

Know Your Endo by Jessica Murnane

Endometriosis affects one in ten women in the UK and it takes on average eight years to get diagnosed. It’s absurd, right?

Well if you suffer with terrible period pains, shooting pains in your pelvis or bowels or back pain, you could be suffering from endo.

If you’ve been lucky enough to get your endo diagnosis the journey doesn’t stop there because sadly the condition is incurable. Or it probably is curable, the research just hasn’t been funded.

So if you’re living with endo Jessica Murnane offers an empowering guide to living with the condition.

This is the go-to book for coming to terms with the chronic pain and managing symptoms through lifestyle tools.

Buy for £15.21 from Amazon.

The Vagina Bible by Dr Jen Gunter

This book is a lifelong trusted source for all our vagina questions.

It’s quite surprising that while all women have one, we don’t actually know a whole lot about it.

Dr Jen Gunter has all the answers we need from the impact of diet on vaginal health, hygiene, lubricants and hormone myths, changes to expect in pregnancy and cosmetic vaginal surgery.

She even provides tips on what underwear is best for your vaginal health as well as how to select the right tampon for you.

It’s got you covered inside and out.

Buy for £14.99 from Watersones.

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