SCIENCES

Everything Below the Waist: Why Health Care Needs a Feminist Revolution

St. Martin's. Jul. 2019. 336p. notes. index. ISBN 9781250110053. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250110060. HEALTH
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OrangeReviewStarEven though American women visit physicians more frequently and fill more prescriptions than men, their life expectancy rates are declining compared to women in other developed countries. Health journalist Block (Pushed) finds that modern medical interventions play a vital role in this development. Contraception, treatment for infertility, unnecessary Cesarean sections and hysterectomies, and ineffective treatment of pelvic disorders are major factors. Until recently, female subjects were not used in medical research, so it's not surprising that physicians do not completely understand hormonal cycles and the delicate interplay involved in them. That mainstream feminist movements and related organizations such as Planned Parenthood embrace the use of contraceptives with known harmful side effects because they offer women choices is also a problem. They ignore effective older birth control methods and therapies for pelvic pain such as massage and physical therapy because they require more time and effort. Block advocates for access to information about all forms of treatment so that women can make fully informed decisions and take control of their health care.
VERDICT Thought-provoking, empowering information that all women should have; essential for public and consumer health libraries.

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