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The Women’s Health Book by the Royal Women’s Hospital

Reviews — Posted 08/04/14

Written by women’s health professionals, this book is a rich health and wellbeing resource for women at every stage of life.

Better health for Australian women is well within reach with the help of greater awareness, better access to reliable information, routine checks and healthy lifestyles. The Women’s Health Book strives to be an authoritative, accessible and comprehensive health information resource for women to turn to throughout all stages of life – written for women, by professionals who specialise in women’s health.

Providing information on issues ranging from menstruation and pregnancy, through to mental health, diet, infections, cancer, arthritis and more, this book serves as a clear and trustworthy guide to the questions many women may have about how they can achieve greater wellbeing.

Why the focus on women’s health specifically? As former Royal Women’s Hospital chief executive Dale Fisher highlights in the introduction, men and women’s different anatomies, hormones, genetics necessarily impact health in different ways. And yet healthcare often ignores these biological and social differences, resulting in a lack of awareness of the specific issues women face.

“Less than one third of participants in medical research and drug trials are women. This means that most medical research has been done on men and then applied to women,” Fisher explains. “This continues to happen even though we know that women often have different symptoms and experience different outcomes of health problems from men, and that women respond differently to many medicines. As a result, many diagnoses, treatments and prevention strategies aren’t as appropriate for women as for men.”

The Women’s Health Book is divided by life stages, journeying from adolescence through to later years. Nutrition, physical activity and mental health are addressed at each life stage, along with other women’s health topics including:

• Menstruation
• Sexuality
• Bullying
• Contraception
• Sexual health
• Pregnancy
• Miscarriage and stillbirth
• Abortion
• Childbirth
• Motherhood
• Domestic violence
• Breast health
• Menopause
• Gynocological cancers
• Plastic surgery
• Incontinence
• Complementary and alternative therapies

For over 150 years, the Royal Women’s Hospital has been a leader in the advocacy and advancement of women’s health care. As Australia’s largest hospital dedicated to women’s health, it cares for more than 200,000 women each year.

The Women’s Health Book is out now from Random House.

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