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An exhaustive, meticulous, politically-oriented source book on health problems particular to women--expressing the Our Bodies, Ourselves philosophy but more thorough in its concentration on obstetrics and gynecology. The authors' original intent was to produce a guide to gynecologic self-examination, and the first two chapters are devoted to exploring external and internal anatomy (specified equipment: speculum, mirror, and light source) and to breast self-examination. Some of the subsequent text may surprise readers: on birth control, for instance, the authors favor the barrier methods (diaphragm, condom) on the basis that the I.U.D. and the Pill are too medically risky and may have been made to appear more effective than they are by statistical manipulation. Also, menstrual extraction (usually recommended and practiced by radical feminist groups) is pronounced a real mistake; it may, warn the authors, cause serious, permanent damage. The advice on dealing with doctors takes special note of gay women (who have particular difficulty in finding a sympathetic and knowledgeable doctor) and of nurse practitioners (who may have more to offer than physicians). The bulk of the book is a logically-arranged discussion of the different types of gynecologic and obstetric diseases--their symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment; a separate section is given over to operations, tests, procedures, and drugs. A solid, detailed reference--of use even to those who disagree with its underlying philosophy.

Pub Date: May 11th, 1981
Publisher: Avon