I have read so many great books on periods, menstruation, hormones and cycle charting, it is really difficult to pick a short list, so I will be doing some proper reviews, however, one thing I am asked regularly is “What Books Do You Recommend?” to learn more about women’s health, periods and the reproductive system in general.
This can be a difficult one because, whilst you can look things up on the internet, the looking at things from a scientific view point only can take us into our head and help us forget that we have bodies and our womb or even womb space (if you no longer have a womb) is often referred to as grounding and nurturing, the complete opposite.
With this in mind, I prefer books that offer a more holistic view of the female reproductive system. With that in mind, these are my top 5 I currently recommend people start with. But trust me, I have a tonne more that I will be reviewing individually as all these books deserve a proper platform. I have tried to pick a variety from each category but there are so many great books out there, I think I will have to start up a book club soon!
1. Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom by Dr Christian Northrup
This was the first book I read in this domain and it will always hold a special place in my heart. I genuinely think all young women should be given a copy of this as they go through puberty. Dr Christiane Northrup is an OB/GYN from the US who later took a more spiritual path. She looks at the body, the stages of the female reproductive life and common issues and explains them from a practical point of view and possible treatments from the medical through to the spiritual. I really enjoyed that she had such a broad approach and even though it is a massive book, I highly recommend it to every client who asks about books because it really is a reference manual for the womb.
2. The Fifth Vital Sign by Lisa Hendrickson-Jack
I first came across Lisa in the Fertility Friday podcast which is a wonderful podcast about all things fertility and womb related. I have even been a guest on myself. Lisa is a fellow Sympto-Thermal method teacher who learned through Justisse International and is dedicated to providing information on the menstrual cycle to as many people as possible.
This is a great book for learning and understanding more bout the menstrual cycle, with a tonne of references included. The name comes from recognising that the period is not just about fertility but is a sign of health and we should learn to understand and read.
3. Code Red by Lisa Lister
One thing that is great about having a menstrual cycle is that it gives us certain innate gifts at certain times throughout the month. I love that she really really goes into the menstrual seasons and that they give us super powers rather than and helps you to really understand how to work with your cycle rather than fight it. There is even a section written by her husband as a quick guide for men to understand the women in their lives.
Lisa’s a great writer with many personal anecdotes shared in her work that always has been laughing, crying and experiencing many emotions in between. She has written a number of books in this area including some for puberty years but this book is a favourite of mine.
4. Period Repair Manual by Lara Briden ND
This book is a very practical book for literally repairing your periods. Lara Briden is a very well researched Naturopath who gives great suggestions for repairing your period problems with well researched suggestions, mostly food and nutrition based. If you want to literally look up an issue, PCOS, PMS, it is there along with practical suggestions that you can use to fix the issue.
This is a great self help book that I highly recommend to many of my clients and the latest version has more up to date research, so make sure you get the pink cover version.
5. The Pill, Are You Sure It’s For You? by Jane Bennett and Alexandra Pope
There are a lot of great books out there about the pill, but this was a great one that explained the side effects well and in a clear way, as well as the pill’s shocking history, especially when being tested, the effect it has had on young women growing up and also the effect it has on the body such as various vitamin deficiencies. This is a very comprehensive overview on the pill and gives you a starting place for what to do when you want to come off the pill, a lot of food for thought and it was the catalyst I needed to get me off the pill years ago.
At this point in time, these are the first five starter books that if you read, your knowledge of the womb, the reproductive system will be so much more than you ever thought it could be.
There are many other great books out there along with ones that I know are coming out in the future that I will bet writing reviews, so if you see another great one, don’t worry, I’m sure a post about it will be coming out soon.