How The Female Body Works

Polly Vernon


On behalf of: New River

‘I have been in possession of a female body for 51 years. I’ve experienced it from head to toe, inside and out; I’ve abused it, loved it, ignored it, betrayed it, berated it, pampered it, nourished it, denied it, hurt it, healed it. I’ve watched it shrink and grow, bruise and bleed, flourish, dwindle, strengthen and sicken. Technically, we’re close, my body and me. We go everywhere together. And yet, I know little about how it actually works…’

How much do any of us know about how our bodies really work? We know, for example, that our bodies are very much subject to the will of
hormones. That these impact our mood and our function. But how many of us know what hormones are? Like: what do they look like?
We may think we know a lot about skincare. But somehow we know very little about skin. We know women live longer than men, that women, on average, experience significantly poor health earlier than men, that we’re twice as likely to develop dementia… but again, why? Why are we more sensitive to glucose, and more resistant to insulin? Why do we get cellulite, but men don’t?

And what about the structure of the female skeleton, and the density of its bones? And how does childbirth impact that (and everything else)?
This book charts Polly’s mission to get answers. Working in conjunction with a female GP, she answers the big (and the smaller) questions about the female body: how it works, and how it’s different to men’s, for better and for worse. It serves as a complete manual to the female body: head to toe, inside and out, physical and emotional.

Woven throughout each chapter is medically informed advice on how to mitigate the ways our female bodies make life trickier, along with notes of celebration for the ways they help us out. It is useful and joyful, funny and empowering.