“Page for page, I may not have ever learned more from a book.... Womb is a history book as well as a biology book but it’s also an adventure and a celebration.” —Rob Delaney, actor and author of A Heart That Works
A groundbreaking, triumphant investigation of the uterus—from birth to death, in sickness and in health, throughout history and into our possible future—from midwife and acclaimed writer Leah Hazard
The size of a clenched fist and the shape of a light bulb—with no less power and potential. Every person on Earth began inside a uterus, but how much do we really understand about the womb?
Bringing together medical history, scientific discoveries, and journalistic exploration, Leah Hazard embarks on a journey in search of answers about the body’s most miraculous and contentious organ. We meet the people who have shaped our relationship with the uterus: doctors and doulas, yoni steamers and fibroid-tea hawkers, legislators who would regulate the organ’s very existence, and boundary-breaking researchers on the frontiers of the field.
With a midwife’s warmth and humor, Hazard tackles pressing questions: Is the womb connected to the brain? Can cervical crypts store sperm? Do hysterectomies affect sexual pleasure? How can smart tampons help health care? Why does endometriosis take so long to be diagnosed? Will external gestation be possible in our lifetime? How does gender-affirming hormone therapy affect the uterus? Why does medical racism impact reproductive healthcare?
A clear-eyed and inclusive examination of the cultural prejudices and assumptions that have made the uterus so poorly understood for centuries, Womb takes a fresh look at an organ that brings us pain and pleasure—a small part of our bodies that has a larger impact than we ever thought possible.