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Medical Gynecology & Obstetrics

The Vagina Bible

The vulva and the vagina--separating the myth from the medicine

by (author) Jen Gunter

Random House of Canada
Initial publish date
Aug 2019
Gynecology & Obstetrics, Women's Studies, Women's Health
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2019
    List Price

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From Canadian OB/GYN, women's health advocate and New York Times columnist Dr. Jen Gunter: The Vagina Bible is a comprehensive, accessible antidote to the maelstrom of misinformation around female sexual health, and the ultimate guide to everything a person needs to know about the vagina and vulva.

We are well into the twenty-first century and have access to more information than ever before, yet many people don't know that a vagina is self-cleaning, condoms should be used with a lubricant, eating sugar doesn't cause a yeast infection, and sex shouldn't be painful. As a physician with twenty-five years of clinical experience, Dr. Jen Gunter is all too familiar with the fears, fallacies and misinformation that abound about vaginal health. On Twitter, she hilariously exposes unscientific wellness advice and debunks potentially harmful and stunningly unnecessary products from "vagina profiteers." Dr. Gunter knows the questions women (and men) have about female sexual health, and in The Vagina Bible, she answers them all.

the sixteen-year-old trying to figure out tampons;

the twenty-six-year-old wondering how to avoid a UTI;

the thirty-six-year-old trans woman navigating her new anatomy;

the forty-six-year-old worried about the changing appearance of her vulva;

the fifty-six-year-old looking into the HPV vaccine for her daughter (and maybe herself);

the sixty-six-year-old experiencing painful sex;

The Vagina Bible offers a repository of accurate information based on science, and delivered with wit and wisdom. This is the fact-based, inclusive, and empowering guide you deserve to advocate for your own body.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Dr. Jen Gunter is board certified in OB/GYN and pain medicine. She writes about the intersection of women's health, sex, science, and pop culture for the New York Times. She has been called a fierce advocate for women's health, Twitter's gynecologist, and "strangely confident" by She believes an empowered patient requires facts and she is here to fix the medical Internet and smash the patriarchy.

Excerpt: The Vagina Bible: The vulva and the vagina--separating the myth from the medicine (by (author) Jen Gunter)


I have a vagenda: for every woman to be empowered with accurate information about the vagina and vulva.

One of the core tenets of medicine is informed consent. We doctors provide information about risks and benefits and then, armed with that information, our patients make choices that work for their bodies. This only works when the information is accurate and unbiased. Finding this kind of data can be challenging, as we have quickly passed through the age of information and seem to be stalled in the age of misinformation.

Snake oil and the lure of a quick fix have been around for a long time,and so false, fantastical medical claims are nothing new. However, sorting myth from medicine is getting harder and harder.

In addition to social media feeds that constantly display medical messaging of variable quality, there are the demands of a headline-driven news cycle that constantly requires new content—even when it doesn’t exist. With women’s bodies, there are even more forces of misdirection at work. Pseudoscience and those who peddle it are invested in misinformation,but so is the patriarchy.

Obsessions with reproductive tract purity and cleansing date back to a time when a woman’s worth was measured by her virginity and how many children she might bear. A vagina and uterus were currency. Playing on these fears awakens something visceral. It’s no wonder the words “pure,” “natural,” and “clean” are used so often to market products to women.

Members of the media and celebrity influencers tap into these fears with articles about and products to prevent vaginal mayhem, as if the vagina (which evolved to stretch and tear to deliver a baby long before suture material was invented) is somehow so fragile that it is constantly in a state of near catastrophe.

Why The Vagina Bible instead of The Vagina and Vulva Bible? Because that is how we collectively talk about the lower reproductive tract (the vagina and vulva). Medically, the vagina is only the inside, but language evolves and words take on new meaning. For example, “catfish” and “text” both have additional meanings that I could never have imagined when I was growing up. “Gut” is from the Old English for the intestinal tract, usually meaning the lower part (from the stomach on down) but not always.

It’s actually a very imprecise term; yet it has been embraced by the medical community and is even the name of a leading journal dedicated to the study of the alimentary (digestive) tract, the liver, biliary tree, and pancreas.

I have been in medicine for thirty-three years, and I’ve been a gynecologist for twenty-four of them. I’ve listened to a lot of women, and I know the questions they ask as well as the ones they want to ask but don’t quite know how. The Vagina Bible is everything I want women to know about their vulvas and vaginas. It is my answer to every woman who has listened to me pass on information in the office or online and then wondered, “How did I not know this?”

You can read the book in order from front to back or visit specific chapters or even sections as they speak to you. It’s all good! I hope over the years many pages will become worn as you go back to double-check what a doctor told you in the office, to research a product that makes wild claims about improving vaginas and vulvas, or help a friend or sexual partner out with an anatomy lesson.

Misinforming women about their bodies serves no one. And I’m here to help end it.
Jen Gunter, MD

Editorial Reviews


“With The Vagina Bible, Gunter hopes to give women their combat armour. The clear-eyed encyclopedia touches on just about every matter. . . . While the Twitter-loving OB/GYN is certainly not the first to dispel these myths about women’s sexuality, today, she holds the loudest megaphone.”
The Globe and Mail

The Vagina Bible is written for all women, but should also be read by men, and has special relevance for health care providers, the media, and celebrities promoting ‘wellness products.’ It is truly a one-stop shop for the latest science and facts about the vagina and vulva.”
—Lori A. Brotto, Ph.D., Canada Research Chair in Women’s Sexual Health, Executive Director of the Women’s Health Research Institute, and author of Better Sex Through Mindfulness

“Women must wade through a constant barrage of misinformation and fake health claims about their bodies. Dr. Jen Gunter is the warrior-in-chief in the battle against fake vagina news, and her book arms us with the facts we need to join that fight.”
—Dr. Danielle Martin, author of Better Now: Six Big Ideas to Improve Health Care for All Canadians

“Dr. Jen Gunter’s The Vagina Bible brilliantly dispels myths and imparts knowledge with large doses of wit, wisdom and invaluable advice. This empowering and engaging resource belongs on every woman’s bookshelf.”
—Ami McKay, author of The Birth House

“Whether she is debunking the damage done by Freud or providing the low down on the science of sex, Dr. Gunter provides a frank, funny and thoroughly science-informed perspective. This is the exact kind of book the world needs right now. Gunter pulls no punches and provides a clear and concise summation of the facts on every vagina-related topic you can think of. Seriously. Everything. The world needs more Jen!”
—Timothy Caulfield, author of Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?

“This book is basically everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the vagina but were afraid to ask.”
—Imani Gandy, Senior Legal Analyst, Rewire News

“Men who want to understand the experiences of their partners or provide sound guidance to their daughters should turn to The Vagina Bible. Jen Gunter offers authoritative information with her trademark clarity and good humor.”
—Carl Zimmer, author of She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity

“Dr. Jen Gunter is a fountain of critically important information and she’s funny as hell. Buy this book if you have a vagina or if you spend any time at all in reasonably close proximity to one.”
—Ayelet Waldman, New York Times bestselling author of A Really Good Day

The Vagina Bible is an extremely important book, not only for all women but also all men. So many women have suffered shame and discomfort due to a complete lack of knowledge about how their sexual organs are designed to look, feel and behave. In her book, Dr. Gunter shines a much needed light on this very private subject aimed at bringing facts, confidence and joy into the personal lives of readers.”
—Miranda Esmonde-White, author of Aging Backwards

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