This is How You Vagina
All About Your Vajayjay and Why You Probably Shouldn't Call it That
by Dr. Nicole Williams
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 21 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 30 Sep 2021
The history, mystery, and majesty of the most fascinating organ
In This is How You Vagina, Dr. Nicole Williams presents readers with a much-needed education on the history, science, and attitudes of the most fascinating and misunderstood part of the female anatomy: the vagina. She covers valuable information about sexual function, childbirth, and physiology and provides answers to her patients’ (and probably your) most asked questions. She matter-of-factly dispels the most common myths and misinformation concerning female genitalia, including―
No, your vagina doesn’t need steaming
Those panty liners are unnecessary―your vagina needs to breathe
It’s actually perfectly normal for your vagina to have an odor―consider it your personal brand
This book is an easy-to-understand guide, complete with illustrations, for women to explore and understand their vaginas in a way they never have before. You will learn what's normal and what's not, including that, yes, yours is most certainly normal too. This is How You Vagina is essential reading for anyone who is looking to better understand the form and function of this most majestic and fascinating organ.
“Our bodies have been shrouded in shame and secrecy for far too long. Thank goodness Dr. Williams is here to pull back the curtain to help us to better understand and appreciate our bodies—all in the name of wellness, self-love, and pleasure.” —Jessica O’Reilly, PhD, sexologist, author of The New Sex Bible, and host of the podcast Sex with Dr. Jess
“Yes, we’ve lived with our vaginas for our entire lives, but I’m sure most women only have a cursory amount of knowledge about them. Dr. Nicole Williams successfully expands our knowledge of ‘vajayjays’ (and lays out the case why not to call them that). This is not a textbook; it’s written with wit and logic and is easy to understand. She dispels trendy vaginal treatments and myths about what’s ‘good’ and ‘bad’ for the vagina. Most importantly, once you have a better knowledge of this body part, you’re equipped to treat it properly. Frankly, I think it’s a book parents should have their daughters read as they begin puberty.” —Adrianna Hopkins, Emmy Award–winning news anchor and women’s health advocate
“This Is How You Vagina is an excellent combination of history, science, and real talk from your bestie. Dr. Williams delivers tons of valuable information in an approachable way that will have you giggling while you are learning all about your lady bits.” —Sarah Deysach, owner of Early to Bed Sex Shop, Chicago, Illinois
“This Is How You Vagina is a refreshingly witty yet painstakingly accurate account of the female reproductive tract. As a practicing board certified gynecologist, I would recommend this book to every human with a vajayjay!” —Ruth Arumala, DO, MPH, NCMP, FACOG
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Average rating from 36 members
This is a terrific book. It's easy to understand, funny, filled with great pictures and informative. Most importantly, it's accurate and based on facts- unlike those other pseudo experts. I highly recommended this book to all women. And we really should know more about about bodies and take charge of our self-care. Thanks to the publisher for providing this ARC.
This short but informative volume should be required reading for women of all ages. Despite having had a vagina of my own for over four decades, a big part of this book was new to me. As much as I read about science, I’d never come across anything similar, probably because of the lack of research on female health issues. The author is a gynecologist, but she’s nothing like the stuffy doctors I’ve ever been to. She’s funny, knowledgable and non-judgmental. She’s also accomplished and smart, but explains everything in a clear, easy to follow language that doesn’t make you feel dumb. Some information is a little too technical when it doesn’t apply to you personally, for instance, I’ve never been pregnant, so the parts devoted to child-rearing were interesting, but I didn’t need to know about it in great detail. I guess younger readers will think the same about the chapters devoted to menopause but, as a whole, all the information is pertinent. Dr. Williams also brings her own experiences not only as a medical professional, but as a Black woman. I wish it wasn’t relevant, but it is. If women’s health issues have been handled by men, it’s encouraging that professionals like Dr. Williams are trying to change this. I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thank you, NetGalley/Greenleaf Book Group!
I couldn't put it down, once I started reading it I wanted to learn all of it. I loved the author, Dr. Nicole Williams, fun and yet very informative. I was never bored with too much information, and the information mixed with stories/ thoughts was perfect. When I picked up this book I thought I would just read the first chapter, instead I stayed up late into the night reading. I am in my early 40's and learned so much from this book, it was wonderful. This book also made me feel so much better about my body just in general, and I can't tell you the last time a book made me feel like that. Thank you for writing this book, it was exactly what I needed yet, didn't know I needed.
I find this book to be super helpful. There aren't many easy-to-understand informational sources for vaginal health, especially resources that are all encompassing. This book walks you through 1) vaginal anatomy, 2) the history associated with vaginal remedies, general care, and associated terms, 3) common misconceptions about vaginal health, 4) exploring yourself and deserving pleasure, 5) giving birth, 6) using sex toys, 7) common issues that come up, and so much more. Dr. Williams takes a subject that so many women are scared to talk about and turns it into a gentle conversation filled with love and trust. Would recommend to anyone who wants to learn more about their vulva and vaginal health in general.
This is an excellent book addressing the often-taboo or embarrassing questions, curiousities, and misunderstandings around the human vulva. Brilliantly written, accessible to a wide audience, and based in actual expertise, I highly recommend this book to anyone who has - or loves someone who has - a vagina. Thank you Netgalley for the ARC!
Thanks for the advanced copy, I could not put this down. Great style of writing and so well put together, very informative. I remember my mum buying me a book as a teenager about the facts of life, I think every young girl/young woman should have access to a book like this.
This is a book that young girls should definitely read! It’s surprisingly technical and gives you an all around lesson on ‘how you vagina’. It deals with color, shape and care. It’s very clear with a summary with do’s and fonts for every chapter!
Not a bad book—I like how Dr. Williams kept the mood light (a little too light at times, and it was sometimes hard to take it seriously) and provided tons of medical information that was woman-focused. If only it didn’t include those eye rolling hats and I’m wondering just how exactly to control a baby’s birth weight. My OBGYN never hinted that I could do this and one of my children only came in the “ideal” 5-6 pounds because she came early (I am a very small person). I loved the addition of historical information (except the misconception about Puritans persists) and there’s a great discussion about race at the end. Thank you to the publisher for providing this copy for review.
Informative and well-organized, this book presents a wealth of information that everyone would benefit from exploring. Thank you to NetGalley and to the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I appreciate the frank discussion and diagrams with no diversion or distraction. I also appreciated the subchapter titles so sections that were not relevant to my interest could be scanned for content rather than read for absorption. I am glad to have acquired this book for my library from NetGalley, it was very informative.
This is How You Vagina, by Dr. Nicole Williams, is the perfect book for anyone who wants to learn about this amazing organ. It explains the history and clears up much of the mystery about it. It's also chock full of much needed information on the science of the female anatomy and includes the history of attitudes as well as misunderstandings about the vagina. This is an interesting and easy to read book, complete with illustrations, to explore and understand vaginas in a way like never before. You'll learn what is normal and what is not, It's an essential book for all those who want to have a better understanding about the structure and purpose of this amazing organ.
I’ve needed this book since i first came out of my mother’s womb. This handy book will help you reassure yourself that all vaginas are normal. It includes such interesting facts at the end of each chapter & it was SO interesting to learn the history behind vaginas, dildos, sanitary products etc. I will definitely be referring back to this book in the future. Also just a quick extra - it does include hard topics such as racism and sexual abuse/rape and FGM which could be hard to read so beware when reading. :)
This was probably the first book I read which was upfront about "Vagina". No games, no sidelines. Straight up truth. A lot of times people have tried writing book about vagina and mentions ONLY sex. This book has VAGINA in it. A little too bookish knowledge for my taste though. Very informative but not VERY captivating. Since it was a non fiction shelf it makes sense to be informative and hence that should be perceived as good. There were a lot of myth Busters too which were SUPER COOL. Overall a good read for people wanting to know more about their/their partners vagina in a little technical sense.
Very detailed and interesting read. I was shocked at the amount of information I didn't know (thanks Texas "sex" ed). Every woman should read this book. Don't assume you know enough because there is so much to know.
I absolutely loved this book. As women, we are never taught about our vaginas past fifth grade, and that is generally just to make sure we know what happens when our period comes. That’s it! Periods and babies. But this book is a wonderfully educational, yet wildly entertaining, comprehensive look at the anatomy of the most beautiful part of our bodies. Thank you for this!!
Thank you to Net Galley for providing me with a an e-copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. "This is How You Vagina" by Dr. Nicole Williams is a book the vagina-owning population truly needed, for quite some time now actually. Themes from Menstruation, Menopause and Giving Birth through Discharge and Vagina Care all the way to the numerous names which people use instead of 'vagina', Orgasm and Toys are discussed, which leads me to believe that this is a perfect book for anyone who wants to embrace their vagina. With her uniquely mature yet funny writing style, Dr. Nicole Williams presents all things vagina in a very truthful and raw way. As a vagina-owner, I have been in situations, which made me think about the importance of the vagina and how having one changes everything for you (especially that time last year, when I still worked as a receptionist, a very wealthy-looking man came to the reception desk and asked me if I was "bleeding", and if yes, asked me to find him someone else to accommodate him, it is so hard for me to believe that there are still people who can not grasp the idea of women being on their period and not being dirty or harmful), so what makes this book so wonderful to me is the fact that it shows the vagina and the life with one in a way we have never seen before, it gives answers, tips, motivation and knowledge. Everything in this book is explained in a very clear way, so that even I, a non-native speaker, although, in my humble opinion, still fluent. can understand. I find it rather important to mention that this book also deals with topics such as rape, racism, FGM and more. A big thank you to Dr. Nicole Williams for writing a book so informative, educational and empowering.
This Is How You Vagina is an informative and helpful book about vaginas. It really reminded me of the kind of pamphlets and books your mom gives you when you hit puberty, but with a more mature tone and more in depth information. There were definitely parts in the book where the author went into a lot of scientific detail and long Latin names that made my brain want to skim, but I think all of the up front and honest talk about the vagina helped keep me engaged. I do think there was an opportunity to include trans people in this discussion that was missed and this book really focuses on heterosexual women more than any other sexuality, but I don’t think badly of the author for any of this. This book is very good at what it does, which is to talk about the vagina as an organ that has a lot of misinformation surrounding it. This book never really focuses on gender and sexuality as a topic, merely makes the assumption that it’s audience consists of cis, heterosexual women. This is a great way to start gathering information and with the resources included in the book, there’s plenty of opportunity for people to learn more if they really want to.
The main reason why I was interested in reading this book was, as it's mentioned in the book, because of the fact that we don't talk about this topic. Half of the world's population go about their lives knowing almost nothing about something as important as their vagina. And that is mindblowing, but it also seems like no one cares about changing that dynamic. To do this review properly, I want to first talk about the positives and then the negatives. For the positives, the main one is that through this book, the author tries to normalize talking about both the vagina and our sexual health. Using normal words, rather than the most academic, helps massively. Some of the things mentioned were worded the same way I could talk to a friend about it. And that made the book a lot easier to read. Medical terms can be tricky for people, like me, who have not studied them. Another positive, of course, is all the useful information that the book has. I definitely plan on rereading certain parts in the future. There is talk about menopause. Hurray! Society makes it seem like women who are no longer fertile are not even women anymore. I bet many women can use that chapter about menopause to understand better the changes their body is going through. As women, our body changes so much, yet we know so little about why and how. The chapter about race was very interesting. I am a firm believer in getting data from both sexes to properly analyze all types of medical stuff. And in the same way we need to talk about heart attacks knowing that the symptoms can be different for men and women, we need to acknowledge that race can affect the way a certain medical thing needs to be studied and treated. There are so many illnesses and similar where the death rate is so much higher for non-white people, and this kind of research is essential to change that. For the negatives, I first have to mention how food was talked about in a chapter. I understand mentioning healthy eating as a way to, well, be healthy. But demonising food groups with harsh terms is never the way to do it for me. Rather than saying "never drink soda" (and this comes from someone that rarely drinks soda), say that soda is not the greatest drink for different reasons and that drinking more water can help with this or that problem. Of course, there is pseudo-science and terms related to that in this book. It seems like they need to feature otherwise the book will be "cancelled". Mention "cis" women is ridiculous, especially coming from a health professional. Using gender rather than sex throughout the whole book is annoying. I understand the author is American and that country is where most of these silly (very misogynistic) terms come from, so I didn't really expect any better. I'm actually pleased she mentions women and girls when talking about problems that only affect women and girls. However, it's interesting that one of my favourite quotes from the book is negated by the use of these terms. When talking about the different words we use to name a vagina, the author says that we use these words because of our "desire to remain inoffensive". I 150% agree with that. That's why I never use terms like "cis" which force me to not talk about any experience that I have because I'm a woman. For the people who obsess over these terms, me talking about my vagina, my periods, etc...is offensive. So, kind of interesting if you think about it. Despite those negatives, that won't bother a lot of people, this is a very important book. And I'll definitely recommend it to all the women that I can. Because if we don't make an effort to learn about something that is so important to us, who will?
I loved this book! The author normalises taking about the vagina and sexual health in a chatty way, using slang we often hear rather than just the scientific phrases. This is such an interesting and informative book that everyone needs to read. Show this to your daughters, your aunts and your friends!
Incredibly informative, yet easy to understand. A wealth of knowledge that shouldn’t be so taboo. I loved the breakdown of myths, and I was able to learn so much about my own body. It’s great to read something written by a doctor that cares about women’s health, and vaginas.
I loved this! A book that talks so openly about the vagina is amazing. I learned things that weren't even touched on in any of the health classes I attended. I am a grown woman and I had to learn most of this information online in bits and pieces. A book like this would have made my teenage years so much easier and I wouldn't have been so scared or confused about what was going on down there. This book is a tool for anyone with a vagina even if you think you already know everything I guarantee there is more you can learn.
Thank you NetGalley and Greenleaf Book Group for this advanced reader's copy. After reading this, I can wholeheartedly say that this book should be the poster child for learning about vaginal health. If you ever wanted to save the hours spent on Google, trying to answer your own questions regarding your vagina, this is the book for you. Dr. Williams provides a detailed examination of the vagina, not only anatomically but also historically. You learn about what different parts of the vagina are for, how history has approached this organ and essentially targets the main concerns women have. It was very helpful to have images and labeling alongside descriptions because this way I didn’t have to Google search images of vaginas to follow along with the text. It was shocking to read how, in the past, the vagina was seen as such a mysterious organ! This book is so full of great and easy-to-understand explanations, that it was impossible not to take notes. Although I strongly recommend this book for anyone searching to learn more about vaginal health, I will caution that this is not the book for anyone under 18. I would probably recommend this book to anyone that is in their twenties and up. Overall, this book felt like a nice, comfortable, and long talk about the vagina with someone that understands the feelings of being misinformed about your own body. This book makes you realize how much crap has been told to you about your vagina and reproductive health and arms you with tools to better inform your daughters when they begin to ask questions. It is a book that I will definitely be picking up physically and adding to my little library.
I received a free e-ARC from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This short volume, written by a gynaecologist, was an absolute eye-opener. Written in an easy to understand and engaging style, the author discusses everything we know about vaginas - covering anatomy, function, puberty, sex, pregnancy, menopause, healthy practices/hygeine, and diseases and disorders. Williams also makes it clear that there is a lot we don't know about vaginas, because women's health isn't prioritised in medical research. She also spends some time exploring the history of women's medicine (which is an absolute travesty), as well as medical racism, and how sexism and racism intersect to compound the negative impacts of both on Black bodies (and other women of colour.) I found the information she presented, both written and visual, extremely fascinating and illuminating. I recommend this book to all readers, because frankly, this is the kind of stuff we should all know about. Half of the world's population has a vagina, and it shouldn't be shrouded in shame or mystery.
I think there are two parts to this book: general information and history on vaginas, and "one size fits all" medical advice on taking care of vaginas. While I appreciate both, and do think both are necessary, I generally shy away from "one size fits all" medicine. We are each unique women with our own vaginas. We carry our questions and our problems differently, and our habits affect us differently. Although this is mentioned somewhere in the book, I don't think the writing carries it across. That said, I think the history and information on vaginas is invaluable. Providing this information in a book format allows all of us women to step into the office of Dr. Williams as if we really were her patient. The information is also accessible by men, which can help them understand their fellow friends, coworkers, partners, parents, and children with vaginas. I think this book is important and as I'm sure women are never going anywhere, it'll be a great source for years to come.
As a person with a vagina, this book is pretty much a bible. It takes us through the complete anatomy of the vagina and answers questions that you never even thought to ask. It highlights how little we know about the female anatomy, and the necessity of this book. I would thoroughly recommend this book to everyone whether you have a vagina or not.
'This is How You Vagina': 4⭐ (Unpaid Review: thank you to @netgalley, @drnicolewilliams and @greenleafgroup for allowing me to read this eArc copy in exchange for a review.) There are times when a woman is insecure of her body and most importantly, of her vagina. There's still so much we don't know about it and I feel like this book was the enlightment most of us needed! I feel like I needed to read this ever since I was born and sincerely, every woman should pick up this book. Seriously, it will make you love your vagina more!
This is the best non-fiction book I have read in my entire life. This book is without any doubt about the vagina. Through myths, historical facts, personal anecdotes and more, the author gets to remove any taboo about the female reproductive organ. Did you know about how Lysol was first used for? Have you heard about Thor swimming in menstrual blood? Did you know dildos were initially for men? Everything in this book is proved by multiple research and advices from doctors and did not stop surprising me throughout every single chapter. I really think everyone should read this book. (I read this arc in exchange of a review)
Interesting and informative. Will purchase for library collection. ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.
Everything you may have wondered about the vagina is in this book. It’s very informative, and answers tons of questions I have definitely googled before. I thought this was a great book..I learned more than I may have ever wanted to know! Thank you NetGalley and Greenleaf Books for this ARC!
We love anything to do with self-help, education and body positivity! I am embarrased to say how little I genuinely knew, this book taught me so much..what a great read!
This is one of those books that all women should read at some point in their lives. Understanding your own body and how to take care of it is so important! Especially when it comes to this life-producing organ. I did, however, feel that some of the writing was still to medical and difficult to understand for a layperson. I'm quite decently educated, but I still had trouble with some of the writing. If you really want to reach the public I think the medicak terminology should be kept to the bare minimum and the practical side of things should be discussed more.