'Vagina Bible' aims to dispel myths and misinformation about genital health
Dr. Jennifer Gunter, author of the ‘Vagina Bible,’ says she wrote the book in response to the myriad of misinformation, myths and celebrity-driven fads that can damage a person’s health.
Gunter, an obstetrician and gynecologist for 30 years, says that “you can’t be an empowered patient without accurate information,” which she sets out to provide in her book so that people can “make the choices that work for them.”
“We have gone all the way through this age of information and we are stalled in the age of misinformation,” Gunter said on CTV’s Your Morning Tuesday. “Even though almost every single person watching literally has a pocket computer they walk around with – because of clickbait and fake news and celebrity driven headlines people can’t get the right information.”
Gunter also admitted that doctors “are not good communicators,” and due to lack of research, “gaps in medicine are being exploited.”
Doing harm in the name of health?
Giving an example of how difficult it is to counter misinformation, Gunter pointed out that the word vagina has negative connotations, even though “it’s a body part just like the elbow.”
Advertisements for her book that the publisher attempted to place containing the words ‘vagina, vaginal and ob/gyn,’ on social media sites including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, Gunter says “were flagged as offensive.”
That clearly did not deter readers, with Gunter announcing on her Twitter account that her book was on its third reprinting in the U.S. and Canada at the end of August.
In a round of rapid true or false questioning, Gunter hit back at current myths that birth controls cause weight gain, ”no they don’t,” and using garlic for yeast infections clears them up, “no, please don’t put garlic in your vagina.”
Jade eggs, popularized through wellness company Goop‘s founder, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, also got the boot, “no don’t put jade eggs in your vagina,” Gunter said. “It’s total grift from California, it’s not some kind of ancient practice.”
Some of the trends, such as people steaming their genitals to ‘cleanse the uterus of toxins,’ are “based on the oldest myth of the patriarchy that the uterus is ‘dirty,” Gunter said.
“That’s how, since the beginning of humanity, women’s bodies have been weaponized by this myth of the uterus having toxins. But think about it – if the uterus was filled with toxins how would an embryo implant there?”
Gunter stressed that her book is for everyone, from “people who have vaginas, and for people who are vagina adjacent,” and includes a chapter on vaginas “in transition” as well.