Meet a Fierce Advocate for Women’s Health: Jen Gunter, MD

March 25, 2022 — Jen Gunter, MD, refuses to remain silent when she sees deceptive claims about ladies’s well being merchandise.

In actual fact, the world’s most well-known — and outspoken — OB/GYN (as described by The Guardian), is on a social media mission to talk up at any time when she sees corporations or governments “prey on ladies’s well being and vaginal disgrace.”

With almost 400,000 followers, Gunter by no means shies away from an argument.

Simply this week, she railed against vitamin and complement maker Olly’s vaginal probiotic, taking the corporate to process for its product premise and objectionable advert copy.

WebMD caught up with the San Francisco-based physician and creator of two books, The Vagina Bible and The Menopause Manifesto. The next interview has been evenly edited for size and readability.

WebMD: So these Olly capsules purport to be “Probiotics for Your Panty Hamster.” What was your response to this?

Gunter: Seeing the phrase “panty hamsters” is so egregious. I’m so used to baseline vaginal opportunism, however this was simply completely egregious and I needed to name it out.

WebMD: What are vaginal probiotics anyway?

Gunter: These are certainly one of these huge wellness scams the place corporations attempt to promote you on someway hacking your microbiome by taking them. They’re not cheap, both, and might vary in worth from $30 to $150 monthly, relying on how bespoke they’re. And but the information isn’t good. There may be little to no proof of the worth of those probiotics besides to shareholders.

WebMD: What’s one declare made within the Olly probiotic packaging that bothers you probably the most?

Gunter: The product claims to stability the vaginal pH. To say that could be a gross misunderstanding of the vaginal ecosystem. If that tagline is what you’re main with, what else don’t ?

Additionally, if these items labored, we’d suggest them. Vaginitis is complicated and sometimes misdiagnosed, and it’s simple for an organization to be predatory and swoop in and say they’ve a product for you.

If I feel your product for the vagina is terrible and you haven’t studied it in at the least one high quality clinical trial (by no means thoughts company-funded or not), and your advertising shows a shocking ignorance about vaginal well being, don’t strategy me about your product. Actually.

WebMD: When there’s a popular culture reference to, say, menstruation, you’re fast to weigh in.

Gunter: I noticed these viral messages from a boy mother (that’s what she known as herself) the place she wrote about being disgusted that there have been mentions of durations in Turning Red, the animated film.

Every thing is right here due to menstruation. In case you didn’t menstruate, you wouldn’t have a child, we wouldn’t have the one that had the intelligence to construct the pc you’re spreading this message on. Menstruation is an important a part of human copy, and it’s much more complicated than folks assume. For that purpose alone, folks ought to find out about it

WebMD: Do you ever get fearful about being so “on the market” on social media?

Gunter: I’ve my stalkers I suppose, however the trolls don’t hassle me. I don’t care if some no matter artwork seller in New York thinks I’ve psychological sickness for selling masks. That’s the perfect you’ve acquired? Actually, this doesn’t even register with me. It’s like throwing a grain of sand at a automobile.

WebMD: You additionally acquired into an alternate with Dr. Leana Wen, CNN’s medical analyst, about masks carrying.

Gunter: She clearly has a special opinion than I do. I feel one of many largest points within the pandemic is the change in messaging and this concept that someway folks aren’t dwelling their regular lives proper now. I used to be unhappy to see her promote that idea.

This weekend I went out for lunch, I went furnishings procuring, I went to the films, I took a hike. My household and I put on masks in all places. I fail to know how carrying a masks means you’re not dwelling a standard life when it’s clearly linked with the decreased unfold of the virus.

Virtually every thing in drugs is about danger discount. You are able to do issues to decrease your danger of coronary heart illness. It’s not 100% assured, however wouldn’t we wish a decrease danger of dangerous issues? I’m going to maintain carrying a masks without end!

WebMD: Do you want extra medical doctors had been extra vocal such as you?

Gunter: I want extra medical doctors would have conversations about well being outdoors of the workplace in methods they’re snug with. Like, you’re on the hairdresser and also you share info, otherwise you share info with 15 of your Fb mates. In case you’re a physician and put up an article about COVID-19 and the way it impacts the heart, your 15 mates usually tend to learn that article than in case your pal who’s a lawyer places that up.

As medical doctors, I consider we are able to typically affect folks in huge and small methods.

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