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What we’re reading: Best women’s health books in July

Top summer reads to enjoy this month



There is nothing quite as decisive as the summer reading list. With a mix of buzzy new releases and beloved bestsellers, we have the perfect edit of women’s health books for you.


Living PCOS Free: How to regain your hormonal health with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (£13.19)

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder worldwide, affecting at least one in ten women and people assigned female at birth (AFAB). It is the number one cause of infertility. Alarmingly, three in four of those with PCOS remain undiagnosed because of the complex nature of the condition.

This practical guide will show you how to successfully manage your condition using proven lifestyle approaches alongside western medicine. With over 35 years’ of clinical experience, Dr Nitu Bajekal, AKA ‘the ‘Plant-Based Gynae,’ breaks through misinformation, providing clarity and support to help you tackle your symptoms – from irregular periods to acne and anxiety. The book features an easy-to-follow 21-day plan for hormonal health along with plant-based recipes and illuminating case histories.


Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men (£9.34)

Imagine a world where your phone is too big for your hand, where your doctor prescribes a drug that is wrong for your body, where in a car accident you are 47 per cent more likely to be seriously injured, where every week the countless hours of work you do are not recognised or valued.

If any of this sounds familiar, chances are that you’re a woman. Invisible Women shows us how, in a world largely built for and by men, we are systematically ignoring half the population. It exposes the gender data gap – a gap in our knowledge that is at the root of perpetual, systemic discrimination against women, and that has created a pervasive but invisible bias with a profound effect on women’s lives.

Award-winning campaigner and writer Caroline Criado-Perez brings together for the first time an impressive range of case studies, stories and new research from across the world that illustrate the hidden ways in which women are forgotten, and the impact this has on their health and well-being.

From government policy and medical research, to technology, workplaces, urban planning and the media, Invisible Women reveals the biased data that excludes women. In making the case for change, this powerful and provocative book will make you see the world anew.


Unwell Women: A Journey Through Medicine And Mythn in a Man-Made World (£12.40)


In Unwell Women, Elinor Cleghorn unpacks the roots of the perpetual misunderstanding, mystification and misdiagnosis of women’s bodies, and traces the journey from the ‘wandering womb’ of ancient Greece, the rise of witch trials in Medieval Europe, through the dawn of Hysteria, to modern day understandings of autoimmune diseases, the menopause and conditions like endometriosis. Packed with character studies of women who have suffered, challenged and rewritten medical orthodoxy – and drawing on her own experience of un-diagnosed Lupus disease – this is a ground-breaking and timely exposé of the medical world and woman’s place within it.


Cracking Menopause:While Keeping Yourself Together (£14.49)

It’s time for us to start talking about the menopause. Cracking the Menopause, from straight-talking broadcaster Mariella Frostrup and health journalist Alice Smellie, has all the information you need, delivered with characteristic wry humour. Mariella shares her own journey through the menopause, along with the latest science, advice from leading experts and humorous illustrations – to provide an informative source of wisdom and enlightenment.

Featuring case studies from women in every walk of life and all stages of their menopause journey, Cracking the Menopause opens up the conversation about an urgent topic that half the population will experience, but barely anyone is talking about. Designed to equip you with the knowledge to manage your symptoms from perimenopause onwards, this essential book separates the myths from the reality and offers expertise, hope and advice.


Arrival Stories:Women Share Their Experiences of Becoming Mothers (£18.52)

A wide range of women – actors, athletes, academics, CEOs, writers, small-business owners, birth workers, physicians, and activists – share their experiences of becoming mothers in this multifaceted, moving, and revealing collection.

Throughout her difficult pregnancy and following her frightening labor experience, Amy Schumer found camaraderie and empowerment in hearing birth stories from other women, including those of her friend Christy Turlington Burns. Turlington Burns’s work in maternal health began after she experienced a childbirth-related complication in 2003 – an experience that would later inspire her to direct and produce the documentary feature film No Woman, No Cry, about the challenges women face throughout pregnancy and childbirth around the world.

It is through Schumer and Turlington Burns’s conversations that the idea for Arrival Stories was born. By sharing their experiences, the contributors to Arrival Stories offer an informative and deeply affecting account of what it feels like when a woman first realises she is a mother.

The collection features essays by:

Serena Williams – Alysia Montaño – Abby G. Lopez – Amber Tamblyn – Shilpa Shah – Christy Turlington Burns – Emily Oster – Emma Hansen – Leslie Feist – Amanda Williams – Angel Geden – Adrienne Bosh – Latham Thomas – Rachel Feinstein – Ashley Graham – Jill Scott – Jennie Jeddry and Kim DeLise – La La Anthony – Shea Williams – Sienna Miller – Katrina Yoder – Amy Schumer

Intimate and urgent, Arrival Stories offers a panoramic view of motherhood and highlights the grave injustices that women of colour face in maternal healthcare. It is the perfect book for any expectant or new mother, or for anyone who knows and loves one.


What we’re reading: Best women’s health books in August

Top summer reads to enjoy this month



The cozy season is just around the corner. As we head into the very last summer month, we’ve handily selected our picks of the best women’s health books you don’t want to miss.


The Female Factor: Making women’s health count – and what it means for you (£15.46)

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.

The Female Factor is a bold, comprehensive guide to understanding women’s health shakes up the narrative for women of all ages, providing methods to protect and maximise your health in positive, affirming steps.

Spanning nutrition, movement, mood, sleep and 50 balanced recipes, this is a blueprint to understanding and aligning your wellbeing, your hormones and your body, both in the short-term and long-term.


Dare to Dream: My struggle to Become a Mum – A Story of Heartache and Hope (£7.39)

Having been told by doctors that, due to Izzy’s polycystic ovarian syndrome, they would have difficulty conceiving – after two years of trying, Izzy and her husband turned to IVF.

In Dare to Dream, Izzy’s aim is to break through some of the taboos surrounding miscarriage, IVF and fertility issues. This deeply personal account acknowledges the struggles that many couples go through but ultimately focuses on the positive, life-changing results that IVF can yield.


Period Power: Harness Your Hormones and Get Your Cycle Working For You (£11.68)

Period Power, is the handbook to periods and hormones that will help you align your daily life with your menstrual cycle and improve your menstrual health.

The hormones of the menstrual cycle profoundly influence our energy, mood and behaviour, but all too often we are taught that our hormones make us unreliable, moody, or that it’s our lot in life to put up with ‘women’s problems’.

Maisie Hill, a women’s health practitioner, knows the power of working with the menstrual cycle and refuses to accept this theory. Instead, she believes that our hormones are there to serve us and, if utilised correctly, can be used to help us get what we want out of life. Yes, we are hormonal, and that’s a very good thing.

Period Power reveals everything you need to know about taking control of your menstrual cycle and outlines The Cycle Strategy to help us perform at our best, throughout our cycle.


Everything You Need to Know About the Menopause (but were too afraid to ask) (£12.99)

Everything You Need to Know About the Menopause (and were too afraid to ask) by campaigner, journalist and documentary-maker, Kate Muir, is the thinking woman’s guide to the menopause, bringing you answers to all those questions that have been hidden behind a veneer of misplaced shame, bad science and centuries of patriarchy.

Muir draws on interviews with medical experts in the field, interlaced with her own tumultuous journey through the menopause and the personal stories of women from all walks of life, sharing their varied experiences and hard-earned wisdom.

As she debunks the myths that surround hormone replacement therapy and exposes the sloppy science and hysterical headlines, Muir questions why the current medical establishment is getting the menopause so wrong and takes a close look at the different options available for treating both body and mind during the profound changes that take us into midlife and beyond.

This guide is a social, cultural and scientific exploration into an overlooked and under-discussed phenomenon that will affect one billion of us by 2025 and calls for equality in healthcare and an entirely new approach to women’s health.


How the Pill Changes Everything: Your Brain on Birth Control (£8.67)

Hormonal birth control is taken by millions of women around the world every day. Yet until recently we knew very little about how the pill affects the non-reproductive systems of the female body, because research on these other systems was conducted almost exclusively on men.

In her book, Dr Sarah Hill, associate professor of psychology and a researcher in evolutionary psychology, uses the latest science to reveal how the pill is changing women and the world, for better and worse. She puts the power back in your hands to make smarter, more informed choices about your health and your hormones.

How the Pill Changes Everything reveals, for the first time, the crucial information every woman taking hormonal birth control needs to know.

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