Phanida Fung is a recently-qualified GP practising in Berkshire.
For much of the population formal education on gender and reproductive health is a dim and distant memory of awkward laughter in a dusty biology classroom. Consequently, patients wishing to discreetly google their symptoms enter a minefield of trying to find clear and accurate information amongst many less-than-reliable sources.
As a female GP, gynaecological problems are the number-one topic my non-medic friends seek advice for. However, help is here. Witty, concise and entertaining, Instagram star and Obstetrician/ Gynaecologist Anita Mitra takes her readers on a whistle-stop tour of gynaecological health. After a back-to-basics course on female anatomy, she covers common concerns regarding menstruation, sexual health and fertility before rounding things off nicely with a focus on lifestyle factors.
Although clinicians will be familiar with most of the contents of this guide, Mitra has also included up-to-date information from emerging research and there is still the opportunity to learn something new – the section on lifestyle factors in promoting gynaecological health is particularly worth a read. The whole book is meticulously referenced throughout and each chapter ends with a “Things you’ve always wanted to know, but were too afraid to ask” section and a concise summary of the key points. Patient anecdotes are always a welcome addition in medical literature and form part of Mitra’s education in empowering women to be bolder in addressing their concerns. There is also a helpful list of further resources at the end of the book which I will certainly be recommending to my own patients.
This is guide that all younger adults could benefit from reading and I will be bulk-buying for my friends.
Mitra writes in an informal, friendly and accessible style which will earn her many fans, although her descriptions of the relevant hormonal pathways in gynaecology may still fly over the heads of some lay readers. The book is mainly targeted towards the Millennial/ Generation Z market with a generous sprinkling of hashtags throughout, and it is perhaps for this reason that the menopause isn’t covered which is a slight shame. Nevertheless, this is guide that all younger adults could benefit from reading and I will be bulk-buying for my aforementioned friends.
The Gynae Geek. Anita Mitra. Pub: Thorsons 2019. ISBN-13: 978-0008305178
Featured photo by Zach Vessels on Unsplash