Friday, October 21, 2016

Female Medical Care

Posted by: Joely Sue Burkhart
As a woman of a certain age, I'm starting to have a few reproductive changes. In fact, I have an appointment this morning to discuss an issue I'm having. Which may (big emphasis) require surgery.

And it strikes me: we need more advancements in--and stories about!--women's medical care!  (More stories about women as doctors too - but here I'm specifically talking about female patients and common medical issues.)

Yes, I know that our society doesn't want to hear about this. There's a stigma about periods. Don't even get me started about women being shamed for enjoying sex and pursuing their own pleasure. It's time we change these ridiculous "polite" standards!

We see the fancy body scanners in Star Trek that can heal the deadliest alien virus. Painless shots from a needle-less stun gun. But they never talk about what those medical advancements meant for women.

No more cramps? Tidier ways to deal with periods? How about pregnancy? Painless delivery without the barbaric practice of inserting a needle into a laboring mother's spine?

Let alone menopause. Issues like fibroids, cysts, and fertility.

The only romance I can remember reading that contained advancement for women's health was Warrior's Woman. All children on Tedra's planet were born from technology, saving women the pain and risks of childbirth. Of course her barbarian immediately demanded she carry his baby the "old fashioned" way.

The more kids I had...and the older I got...the less "romantic" I found that!

So tell me: have you read any great romances with cool medical advancements for women? I'd love to read them!


  1. I can think of two, but neither are romances...

    Lois McMaster Bujold introduces uterine replicators in the first book of her Vorkosigan series and as the books go on, they quietly revolutionize Barrayar. (When I first read the books I hadn't had my kids yet and was rather perplexed, I wanted the experience of being pregnant. By my third pregnancy, after eight months of nausea and swelling ankles, the idea was MUCH MORE attractive.)

    The second on is a hilarious Hugo-winning short story by Connie Willis called "Even the Queen". Basically, science has found a way to turn menstruation on and off with a shunt. I read it in story collection "Impossible Things" but I think it's been collected elsewhere as well.

  2. I just mentioned this in a post over on Joely's site but I want to mention it here too, since it's worth the signal boost!

    Re: books about women who've gone through menopause--let me commend to your attention these lists curated by author Catherine Lundoff, who wrote an urban fantasy centered around women who become werewolves when they hit menopause:


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