Jen Gunter

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Jennifer (Jen) Gunter
Jen Gunter CSICon 2018 Vaginal Snake Oil Profiteers, from Paltrow to the Patriarchy.jpg
Jennifer Gunter in 2018
ResidenceCalifornia, United States
OccupationGynecologist, obstetrician, author, television presenter

Jennifer Gunter is a Canadian-American obstetrician-gynecologist, bestselling author and a specialist in women's health and pain medicine. She corrects misconceptions about women's health through her books, newspaper column and online interventions.[1][2]


Jennifer Gunter was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.[3][4][2] A positive experience at the hospital when she was eleven motivated her to decide on a career in health care: declining sedation, she watched the hospital staff work on her ruptured spleen as they explained the procedure to her.[5]

She was graduated from the University of Manitoba School of Medicine in 1990 and completed her obstetrics and gynecology training in 1995 at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. She then moved to the United States for a fellowship in infectious diseases at the University of Kansas. She then continued her studies in the area of pain management.[6][7][8][9]

In addition to her practice within the Kaiser Permanente Medical Group,[10][11] Gunter manages a health clinic for women.[3][12]


She is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada[6][13] and of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.[6][14] She is a diplomate of the American Board of Pain Medicine.[6][15]

Improving health information available to the public[edit]

In her New York Times column, through social media, and during media interviews Gunter is critical of dubious health claims made by celebrities and the careless way that media outlets report on matters such as reproductive health and vaccination.[3][16][4] She advocates for more responsible health coverage by the news media, less weight given to health advice by celebrities and for doctors to communicate better with their patients.[7]

In June 2019, The Lancet published an opinion piece by Gunter calling for "a better medical internet" by having more medical experts involved in disseminating adequate medical information to the public. "It is simply not acceptable to me that quality research that can save lives and reduce suffering could be undone by a medical conspiracy theorist or a celebrity looking to sell supplements."[7][17]

The blog she has been writing since 2011 has reached 15 million views, Some of her criticism created controversies in mainstream media.[18][5][7] In 2019, her twitter account reaches 220,000 followers as her television series went on the air.[19]

My ire has been directed squarely at the people spreading misinformation, especially if it is for profit. I blog to help women get better advice so they can be more empowered with their health.

— Jennifer Gunter, [20]

Gunter has spoken out on a variety of topics affecting women's health, including abortion,[12] the HPV vaccine,[21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30] and the use of fetal tissue in research.[18]

Criticism of Goop and Gwyneth Paltrow[edit]

Gunter is a frequent critic of products sold by Goop, a company owned by actress Gwyneth Paltrow.[20][2][12][26] Her criticism of one of Goop's products, a jade egg meant to be inserted in one's vagina,[10] came to the attention of a wider audience when her blog post of January 17, 2017,[31] was picked up by a tabloid newspaper. Additional posts [20][32] elicited a written response from Goop directly responding to Gunter's criticism.[33][34][2][7]

This exchange provoked an intervention by Timothy Caulfield, a Canada research chair in health law and policy at the University of Alberta, who supported Gunter's position. Caulfield stated that, "studies have consistently found, for example, that celebrities can have a measurable and less-than-ideal impact on everything from cancer screening to smoking to the food that we eat."[35]

In October 2018, Gunter and archeologist Sarah Parcak published a study to investigate whether or not jade eggs were used vaginally in ancient China, as Goop's marketing claims they were. A review of the description of 5,000 artefacts available in major databases of Chinese archeology found no mention of such an object.[36][2]

The Vagina Bible[edit]

Published in 2019, The Vagina Bible clearly presents medical information about female reproductive anatomy and corrects common myths. Writing the book is a reaction to what she sees as a large amount of dangerous false information on the web about female health.[1][37][12][26] It includes a section focusing on trans men and women.[8] The title reached #1 on the list of Canadian nonfiction bestsellers, according to the Retail Council of Canada.[38] Controversy ensued when the publisher's twitter advertisements were blocked for use of inappropriate language (presumably the word vagina). The ads were only allowed to run after a large online conversation developed.[39][40]


In August 2019, the CBC Gem streaming service will launch Gunter's new web series, Jensplaining, in which she will continue to campaign against misinformation, especially relating to reproductive rights and obstetric health.[2][12][41] The series will be ten episodes, with the first three covering menstruation, wellness, and vaccines.[42][9]

Personal life[edit]

Gunter is divorced,[43] and has lived in California with her family since 2005.[3] Her children, triplets, were born very prematurely: one was born at just 22 weeks and did not survive and the other two were born at 26 weeks. The lack of publicly-available, medically-sound information about the particular needs of premature babies motivated her to write a book entitled, The Preemie Primer: A Complete Guide for Parents of Premature Babies — from Birth through the Toddler Years and Beyond.[44][18][45]

Gunter had to overcome a lifelong binge eating disorder and has considered writing a book about weight loss.[18]

Published works[edit]

  • Gunter, Jennifer (2010). The Preemie Primer: A Complete Guide for Parents of Premature Babies—from Birth through the Toddler Years and Beyond. Cambridge, Mass.: Da Capo Press. ISBN 9780738213934.
  • Gunter, Jennifer (2019). The Vagina Bible: The Vulva and the Vagina — Separating the Myth from the Medicine. New York, NY: Citadel Press. ISBN 9780806539317.


  1. ^ a b Girvan, Chloe (2019-08-22). "Canadian-born gynecologist Dr. Jen Gunter tells it like it is in The Vagina Bible". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 2019-09-11.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Oatman, Maddie (2019-08-23). "Dr. Jen Gunter Wants to Protect Your Vagina From Gwyneth Paltrow". Mother Jones. Archived from the original on 2019-09-11. Retrieved 2019-09-11.
  3. ^ a b c d McKnight, Zoe (July 18, 2017). "This Canadian doctor is going head-to-head with Gwyneth Paltrow over Goop". Toronto Star. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Adam, Aalia (2019-09-08). "'Keep coffee out of your rectum, quit steaming your vagina': Q&A with Dr. Jen Gunter". Global News. Archived from the original on 2019-08-11. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  5. ^ a b Girvan, Chloe E. (July 13, 2018). "Debunking the scientifically inaccurate: Dr. Jen Gunter is on a mission for women's health". IPolitics. Archived from the original on July 15, 2018. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d Gunter, Jen. "About me". Wordpress. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d e Topol, Eric J. (2019-08-26). "Dr Jen Gunter Is a Trailblazer for Truth (and the Vagina)". Medscape. Retrieved 2019-09-11.
  8. ^ a b Marcotte, Amanda (2019-08-27). "Dr. Jen Gunter is on a crusade to save your vagina". Salon. Retrieved 2019-09-11.
  9. ^ a b Szklarski, Cassandra (2019-08-22). "Jen Gunter vs. the modern snake oil salesmen". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2019-09-11.
  10. ^ a b Phillips, Kristine (January 22, 2017). "No, Gwyneth Paltrow, women should not put jade eggs in their vaginas, gynecologist says". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  11. ^ "Jennifer Gunter, MD". My doctor online. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  12. ^ a b c d e O'Leary, Lizzie (2019-08-27). "'For So Long, Women Have Been Marginalized by Medicine'". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2019-09-11.
  13. ^ "The Royal College Directory: Jen Gunter". The Royal College.
  14. ^ "Search by name - ACOG". American Congress of obstetricians and gynecologists. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  15. ^ "Directory". American Board of Pain Medicine. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  16. ^ Gunter, Jennifer (November 16, 2017). "My Vagina Is Terrific. Your Opinion About It Is Not". The new York Times. Archived from the original on November 20, 2017. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
  17. ^ Gunter, Jennifer (June 8, 2019). "Medical Misinformation and the Internet: A Call to Arms". The Lancet. 10188: 2275–2358. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(19)31206-1.
  18. ^ a b c d Keshavan, Meghana (August 4, 2017). "Armed with science (and snark), a gynecologist takes on Trump, Goop, and all manner of bizarre health trends". Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  19. ^ Lytton, Charlotte (2019-09-09). "Dr Jen Gunter, the 'vaginal antichrist', on her mission to bring down Goop". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2019-09-11. Retrieved 2019-09-11.
  20. ^ a b c Gunter, Dr Jen (2017-05-12). "Gwyneth Paltrow and GOOP still want you to put a jade egg in your vagina. It's still a bad idea". Dr. Jen Gunter Wielding the lasso of truth. Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  21. ^ Gunter, Jen (February 5, 2015). "Toronto Star claims HPV vaccine unsafe. Science says the Toronto Star is wrong". Dr. Jen Gunter - Wielding the lasso of truth. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  22. ^ Bruser, David; McLean, Jesse (February 5, 2017). "A wonder drug's dark side". Toronto Star. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  23. ^ "The Toronto Star's Gardasil controversy: A timeline". J Source. February 12, 2015. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  24. ^ Kay, Jonathan (February 12, 2015). "Dropping science: The Toronto Star's scandalously bad article on HPV vaccines illustrates a larger problem with Canadian newsrooms". The Walrus. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  25. ^ Gorski, David (February 16, 2015). "How not to report about vaccine safety issues, Toronto Star edition". Science-based medicine. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  26. ^ a b c Belluz, Julia (2019-08-14). "The Vagina Bible: This feminist gynecologist wants you to know your body and fight the patriarchy". Vox. Retrieved 2019-09-11.
  27. ^ Mallick, Heather (February 6, 2017). "Vaccine debate is one we shouldn't even be having: Mallick". Toronto Star. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  28. ^ Girardi, Stephanie (February 25, 2015). "Unpublishing". Ryerson Review of Journalism. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  29. ^ Young, Leslie (February 11, 2015). "'We failed' in presentation of HPV vaccine story, Star publisher says". Global News. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  30. ^ Hiltzik, Michael (February 13, 2015). "How a major newspaper bungled a vaccine story, then smeared its critics". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  31. ^ Gunter, Jen (January 17, 2017). "Dear Gwyneth Paltrow, I'm a GYN and your vaginal jade eggs are a bad idea". Dr. Jen Gunter Wielding the lasso of truth. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  32. ^ Gunter, Jen (January 20, 2017). "GOOP gaslights women re: vaginal jade eggs claiming selling them is no endorsement!". Dr. Jen Gunter Wielding the lasso of truth. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  33. ^ Shea, Courtney (July 25, 2017). "Who is Dr. Jen Gunter, and why is she on Gwyneth Paltrow's bad side?". Rogers Digital Media. Chatelaine. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  34. ^ "Uncensored: A word from our doctors". Goop. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  35. ^ Caulfield, Timothy (July 14, 2017). "Sorry, Gwyneth Paltrow. Science will always beat goopy junk". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  36. ^ Gunter, Jennifer; Parcak, Sarah (October 25, 2018). "Vaginal Jade Eggs: Ancient Chinese Practice or Modern Marketing Myth?". Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery. 25 (1): 1–2. doi:10.1097/SPV.0000000000000643. PMID 30365448.
  37. ^ Somos, Christy (2019-09-03). "'Vagina Bible' aims to dispel myths and misinformation about genital health". CTV News. Retrieved 2019-09-11.
  38. ^ Retail Council of Canada
  39. ^ Ritschel, Chelsea (2019-08-29). "Gynaecologist calls out Twitter for banning book adverts over the use of the word "vagina"". The Independent.
  40. ^ Wodinsky, Shoshana (2019-08-27). "Twitter's Ad Network Is Waging a War Against Anatomy". Ad Week.
  41. ^ Wiseman, Eva, Jennifer Gunter: ‘Women are being told lies about their bodies’, The Guardian, September 8, 2019
  42. ^ Gunter, Jen. "Canadian anti-Goop doctor Jen Gunter is getting a web series". Now Toronto. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  43. ^ Butler, Peggy (2012). "My Interview with Dr. Jennifer Gunter". Success & Chocolate. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  44. ^ Jennifer, Gunter. "The Preemie Primer: A Complete Guide for Parents of Premature Babies--from Birth through the Toddler Years and Beyond". Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  45. ^ Gunter, Jennifer. "Mother of 3, parent of 2. Reflections on the saddest sorority". Retrieved September 16, 2017.

External links[edit]

See also[edit]