Started from the bottom, now we’re HERE!
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Introduction: A Long Way From Sims
What does your vagina smell like?
Oh, sorry. I meant to ease you into this book. That was too much too soon. Let’s try this, does your vagina smell like popcorn? Whether your answer is yes, or no, you’ve come to the right place because it smells like something.
This book is for every woman who has ever wondered about her body. Is my discharge normal? What should my vagina look like? Should I leak urine when I laugh? How do I stop that? Oh, you’re too young for that last one? You just wait. I am going to help you understand your body, as well as help you solve many common gynecologic problems and prevent many others. You need to know these pearls, and so does your friend, sister, partner, cousin, play cousin and anyone else with a vagina (or without a vagina. I’m an equal opportunity health educator.)
In my Gyne practice (pronounced like Guy-Knee. Please don’t call me a Gyno. It’s not derogatory, I just don’t like the way that it sounds. It’s like if someone called you the wrong nickname) women come to see me for routine health maintenance and to solve health-related problems. The majority of my visits are with women who seek understanding about what is happening in their bodies. Well, ladies, this one is for you. I put together a list of every women’s health topic that I could think of and every question that I am asked regularly. My patients often tell me that I break down topics in a way that helps them understand better than ever before. I am expanding that breakdown beyond my office.
J. Marion Sims is known as “the father of modern gynecology”. The cold, heartless, abusive father, that is. Strong words, I know, but this “father” made most of his discoveries in the 1800s by operating on slaves against their will WITHOUT anesthesia. Read Medical Apartheid and you’ll see where doctors like Sims put the science of discovery above the humanity of people. Thanks a lot, J. I bring him up, though, because in his career, he brought understanding to a lot of medical mysteries in his career. In a much more humane way, we are about to dispel myths and de-Google-ize your knowledge about the female and human body.
Would you buy a nice new car and not read about how often the oil should be changed or what kind of fuel it takes? You would want to protect your investment by being informed. You would. It is for this reason that I became a gynecologist. Even young-me sought to understand why every time I took a bubble bath, my girly parts were irritated and uncomfortable. It took my best friend’s mother who was an OBGYN to bring light to the fact that every woman can’t expose every product to their girlies. The delicate part of me was not interested in the fact that this Body Wash made pink bubbles and let me draw pictures with it on my washcloth.
I actually knew that I wanted to be a gynecologist at an early age. Weird concept? Sure. Many children will say in the cutest of kid-voices that they want to be a doctor, or a nurse, or a lawyer, or an astronaut. How many 5-year-olds can say, let alone aspire to be, gynecologists? If you ask my dad, that was little Wendy Goodall (or sweets as he still calls me because of my love for all things sugary). The desire was partially selfish in that I felt that if I didn’t know about this bubble bath madness, how much more womanly information could I learn to keep myself healthy and comfortable?
Now, as a board-certified OBGYN, having trained at the best programs, and with a love for the dissemination of health information, I am able to break down commonly misunderstood or under-understood (a word I just made up) health topics for women. Sorry men. Apart from being a circumcision expert (yes that is a thing) I can’t help you guys with your parts. The exception to that statement is that if I can help the women in your life be healthier, maybe they will also be happier and you will be the beneficiaries of that happiness. By beneficiary, I mean that she could do something nice for you or smile a little more, or not be as mean or grumpy. If your mind automatically went between the “sheets”, get that mind out of the gutter.
If your car makes a funky noise, or that check engine light comes on, you can Google what it may be. Sure, you may just need an oil change (you should know that without Google), but without being a trained mechanic, you are unlikely to be able to solve the problem with just some fuel additive (the bodies equivalent of vitamin supplements). What is the carburetor anyway? This book will not teach you how to do what I do, but it will give you a window into my world (WTMW instead of WTTW for you Chicagoans). Some basic truths about health can save you from unfortunate outcomes or at the very least, lend understanding where it is lacking. Not every OBGYN can sit and talk to you for 20 minutes about your abnormal pap or why you will have discharge. That’s what THIS BOOK is for!
To the mothers or mature women thinking about giving a copy of this book to your daughter or a young woman in your life, DO IT! Misinformation is so prevalent. I can’t tell you how many people don’t know how STDs are transmitted, which ones are dangerous, that pull-out is an unreliable form of birth control, the clap is not chlamydia (it is actually gonorrhea), and that a person doesn’t need to have a lot of sex to get pregnant. It just takes once.
If you give your kid a car and some car keys but don’t give him or her driving lessons or education on the rules of the road, eventually they may learn how to start the car on their own, or their friends will teach them. Pause and imagine that your kid’s body is the car and puberty is the key. They will likely eventually put that car into gear and try to drive. They will probably run into some things, blow through some traffic signals and get some tickets. Let’s pray they don’t hurt themselves or anyone else. If instead you teach them about the car but give them reasons why they might not want to drive yet (rush hour, etc.), they may be a little safer with their actions. If they choose not to drive, it could be because they are fine using another form of transportation (no innuendo there, I promise).
I posed the following question to a teen in my practice who was sexually active, but was reluctant to have STD testing or start using reliable birth control because she didn’t want her mother to know what she was doing. I asked her, “Which do you think your mother would dislike more: Finding out that you are having sex, but knowing that you are trying to be as safe as possible, or not knowing that you are having sex and as a result, you contract an undiagnosed STD or unplanned pregnancy?” I have a daughter. I would prefer for her to not have sex until she is either married or at least mentally prepared for the emotional weight that it carries. Damn a hookup! Trust and believe, though, that she will know what’s what, AND know that she can always talk to me or ask me questions, regardless of whether I agree with her decision.
Now enjoy my A to Z indexed guide to all things female. I realize that my title says A-V, and no, that is not a typo. It was just catchier than A-Z, but far be it for me to leave out W, X, Y and Z in this book.
Disclaimer: There will be a lot of disclaimers, hashtags, and parenthetic pauses. It is the state of my brain. Just bear with me.
In the words of the amazing comedian, Tiffany Haddish, “She READY!”
Thank you for checking out this preview. I hope that your interest is sparked. You will not regret your decision to be a part of this movement.
Remember, you can order the book here.
I will also let you know when big things are happening with my YouTube channel, or The Gyneco-(b)Logic. Don’t worry though. I don’t like sending or receiving emails so you won’t get that many of them from me.