Book review: Ask Me About My Uterus - Abby Norman

Ask Me About My Uterus: A Quest to Make Doctors Believe in Women’s Pain - By Abby Norman

The book is a ‘pain memoir’ and a searingly honest account of Abby Norman’s struggle to get a diagnosis of endometriosis. The author shares her tale of suffering – living with unacknowledged endometrial pain and confronting a medical profession that dismisses women’s pain and takes their health issues lightly.

The book offers a history of how women and the pain they suffer is treated, mistreated and continuously dismissed by the medical profession woven between Abby’s narrative of her own pain. It also talks in depth about Abby’s brush with the medical profession. It took her years before her pain was even acknowledged, let alone diagnosed. During this time Abby encountered many doctors who called her pain “all in her head.”

Abby’s ordeal started when she was a college student and her chronic, debilitating pain, literally led her to drop-out of college and compelled her to find answers for herself and finally to advocate for a recognition of women’s pain.  

She came to know much later that she suffered from endometriosis, a condition in which the cells in the uterus start growing outside. This causes extremely painful periods,  bowel issues, infertility, nausea, bloating and painful intercourse, amongst others. Sometimes, removing the uterus is the only option for getting rid of pain due to endometriosis.

About the Author

Abby Norman is a science and health writer based in England. She writes about the diagnosis, treatment, and perception of women in medicine, especially the myths of hysteria and the famed though totally false stratospheric pain tolerance of the female gender.

She has been a board member, speaker, and presenter at several conferences, including the ‘Endometriosis Foundation of America’ and has been trained in basic life support, FEMA-certification for HAZMAT, certified health literacy coaching, and is also a past member of the ‘Maine Public Health Association’.

Abby’s lent her experience as a part of various expert panels through the National Partnership for Women and Families’ CORE Network, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

She also wrote her second book titled “Happy on My Own” in 2014.

Why should you read this book?

‘A Quest to Make Doctors Believe in Women’s Pain’  is a book that advocates a recognition of women’s health issues. It’s a strong voice insisting that doctors take women’s pain seriously.  

As the book is based on the writer’s experience of dealing with a male-dominated medical profession which does not trust a woman’s reading of her own body, it becomes a great motivator for any woman who is being short-changed and her symptoms and pain  ignored due to her gender, to keep searching for the right doctor who will listen and validate her pain.

Read this book for information, Abby’s brilliant writing, her wit and her perseverance and determination in her struggle to understand her medical condition, seek a cure, and bring attention to a disease that likely plagues more than one in ten women worldwide.

About the Author

Shikha Gandhi