Did you know that sexual health is just like any other aspect of health? As sexual beings, it’s important we understand and honor that sexuality is part of being human, and that there should be no shame is discussing, addressing, and caring for it. Pregnancy and postpartum introduces it’s own pleasures, challenges, and differences, so let’s take a look at how to maintain pleasurable sexual health throughout these stages. 

In this episode, Dr. Rachel Rubin discusses the importance of good sexual health and how pleasure is essential for a healthy relationship. She also stresses the importance of communicating with your partner about your sexual needs in order to maintain a strong bond. 

As children grow, Dr. Rubin recommends that parents discuss sexual health with them and provideinformation on how sex works biologically and psychologically. By understanding these matters, families can create a foundation for healthy sexuality, openness and safety.

Dr. Rachel Rubin is a board-certified urologist and sexual medicine specialist. She is an assistant clinical professor of Urology at Georgetown University and works in a private practice in the Washington DC region. She is one of only a handful of physicians fellowship trained in male and female sexual medicine. Dr. Rubin is a clinician, researcher, and vocal educator in the field of sexual medicine. She completed her medical and undergraduate training at Tufts University, her urology training at Georgetown University, and her fellowship training under Dr. Irwin Goldstein in San Diego. In addition to being education chair for the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH), she also serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal Sexual Medicine Reviews.

In this episode:

  • Dr. Rachel talks about the importance of understanding our bodies as much as possible. 
  • Sexual health is important throughout the life cycle, but it’s particularly left off the table during pregnancy and early parenting.
  • Sexual health is like any other health – it should not be disregarded and should be treated with significance.
  • Understanding how hormones work empowers individuals to further understand their responses and biological reasons.
  • Dealing with sexual problems involves desire, arousal, orgasm, and pain and entails varying treatments.
  • Sometimes a vaginal estrogen prescription will help postpartum for better and faster tissue healing. Physical therapy can also help with muscle healing postpartum.
  • The secret to remaining sexually active with a sexual partner is having both individuals gain joy and pleasure – it is never one-sided.
  • The genitals are capable of bringing so much joy and life forms through them. Therefore, it should not be seen as shameful or disgusting.
  • Focusing on your quality of life may mean varying aspects of health to focus on such as sexual health, mental health, etc.
  • Check out https://www.isswsh.org/ to find a provider to help you address quality of life issues.

Key Takeaways:

  • Pleasure and joy are important parts of our lives
  • Pregnancy, birth, and postpartum issues are a wildfire of hormone changes
  • When experiencing discomfort, make that extra visit and put yourself a priority
  • Take care of yourself to be able to take care of everybody else
  • Search for ways to show intimacy and connection with your partner
  • After birth, our bodies will look different and that’s okay
  • Understand what happens to your body parts to appreciate their function
  • Knowledge about the body should start young with no shame
  • Sexual organs are body parts – they can experience problems too.
“If you are having pain or discomfort or problems, you have to check back in with your doctor, you have to make that extra visit and put yourself a priority. Remember, you have to put your oxygen mask on first, if you’re going to show up to be a good partner, to be a good mother, you have to take care of yourself. And too often women put themselves last. ” – Dr. Rachel Rubin
“Understand what the biology is right now, find the ways to have pleasure, find the ways to enjoy each other to show intimacy and connection.” – Dr. Rachel Rubin
“Love your body. Love yourself because that’s magic, right? What happens there is absolute magic.” – Dr. Rachel Rubin
“Don’t feel selfish about wanting to maintain your orgasm. Don’t feel selfish for wanting sex… It is important, it is valued.” – Dr. Rachel Rubin

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