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About Episode 9
Women’s Health Myths Debunked with April Davis | The Vagina Blog
In this episode of The Discover | Dr. Dan Proactive Health, Dr. Dan is joined by April Davis, the owner of The Vagina Blog. She has a background in emergency medicine and is certified as a nurse midwife and has extensive experience in midwifery. As a mother herself, she is dedicated to empowering women when it comes to their bodies and helping women be as proactive about their health as possible. She shares valuable insights about menstruation, breastfeeding and medical care that is sure to help women feel more empowered about their health choices. Listen to the full podcast below.
The Need to Empower Women and Shift Cultural Perspectives of The Female Body
April Davis is a big supporter of empowering women when it comes to their bodies and wants to make sure that they can learn to be comfortable in their skin and what their bodies can do. The ability to have babies is no small thing and a woman’s body is strong and powerful because it can do that. However, April has noticed a lot of negativity and incorrect understandings of the female body that must be changed in our culture. One of the first things she mentions is the need to change how we talk about maturation. From a young age, children are taught what their bodies will do and how they will change, but there is a different tone to these conversations. She states, “I feel like as girls and just people in general with vaginas, as they go through maturation, as they mature, right, puberty, for boys, it’s empowering. For girls … it’s really a difficult time. And I really want to flip that on its head and try and change that into being just as empowering as it is for boys.” Changing the tone of the conversation of puberty is really going to start to enable a healthier perspective on maturation and puberty for the next generation. Changing these cultural norms early is going to be one of the best ways to change the tone of the puberty conversation in the future.
As a final note on a perspective that needs to be changed, April also notes that women need to change how they view their own bodies. When it comes to the vagina, there are so many misconceptions among women that make them afraid and lead to a misunderstanding of their own body and what it is capable of. To illustrate this, she quotes Ina May Gaskin and comments:
“Your body is not a lemon.” So many people think that pregnancy, birth, all of this is gonna ruin their vagina and their vulva and it’s all going to be so messed up. Or intercourse over time, it’s going to stretch you out and mess you up. … No, the vagina is made for intercourse, vaginas are made to have babies, all of these things. And so I just always want to make sure that people know their bodies are normal. Their bodies are made to do biological things, and it’s not going to ruin them.
How to Improve Your Menstrual Cycle
To start off the conversation of having a more proactive health approach to a menstrual cycle, April makes an insightful analogy to help the listener better understand the body and hormones of a female. She starts by saying that the Sun, every day goes through the same cycle and it is easy to predict where the Sun is going to be at a certain time every day because it follows a 24-hour cycle. However, the Moon is different and is a little more unpredictable in it’s pattern. April states, “Women are the moon,” they have a much different cycle and so when a woman learns her cycle, she is able to be more proactive about her health and more productive in her life. So for women who struggle with their period, April recommends learning to track your cycle, switching from a tampon to almost any other option, reevaluating your diet and not being afraid to see a healthcare provider. When it comes to healthcare professionals, April also shares emphatically that interviewing a potential doctor is an essential step to ensure that you can find a doctor you can trust 100%. On the topic of a trustworthy doctor April notes, “You want someone that you trust, especially when it comes to having babies, you need someone that you 100% trust to make the best decisions for you because they may end up cutting you open at some point, whether it’s your midsection or your vagina. You need someone that you want a hundred percent trust before you let them do those things.” There are multiple ways women can be more proactive about their health and their menstrual cycles from small things at home to finding a different and better healthcare provider for your needs but April insists that these are essential and beneficial steps to take for better health.
What Women Want From the Men in Their Lives
While most of the podcast was directed forward females, April ends with some final notes about women’s health and what men can do to be supportive for their partners and the physical rollercoaster that they go through. First and foremost, women want men who will be supportive during pregnancy, menstruation and breastfeeding. These are not easy for women, so having a partner that is understanding, supportive and encouraging is something that women appreciate and want to see more in their lives. Open communication is another big desire for women. Whether it is about their sex life or contraceptives, having an open line of communication for those topics is an essential part of the relationship. The best part about all of these topics of women’s health is that they can change. As a final note April states, “If you’re unsatisfied with your sex life, it can change. If you’re unsatisfied with your period and how difficult it is, it can change.” By following some of the suggestions April shares in the podcast, women can be empowered to make the changes they need to in order to improve their health and that is what her ultimate goal is.
To learn more about women’s health and how to improve it, check out the Discover | Dr. Dan Proactive Health podcast episode below, and be sure to subscribe for new episodes each Tuesday.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (00:09)
Welcome to Discover with Dr. Dan | The Proactive Health Podcast. Today, we’re talking about women’s health, including the importance of openly sharing experiences that in the past were only shared in private and providing actual information on how our female listeners can improve their health. On the show today is April Davis, an expert on all things women health, and especially the vagina. April, it’s great to have you here with us today.
April Davis: (00:39)
It’s so good to be here.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (00:41)
Yeah. Thank you for taking time to talk with us. So let’s just jump right into it. Tell us your experience about what made you passionate and being an advocate for women’s health and all these things that might’ve been taboo back in the day, the vagina, menstruation, breastfeeding, pelvic floor exercises.
April Davis: (01:02)
So I have a background in emergency medicine which led me to working with a certified nurse midwife, which is a nurse practitioner, essentially right? Expertise in Midwifery doing home birth. She runs a birth suite here where I live and then also does home deliveries and so I got on as her birth assistant and after working and doing that for a while, I also started taking my own clients as a doula and I have three children of my own as well. So I’d already kind of been on my own journey with breastfeeding and pregnancy and learning everything there was to know about all of that. So yeah, that’s really where my foundation has come from. Cindy, the midwife I worked for, was also a nurse practitioner at Planned Parenthood here in St. George at the time and so not only was I getting to talk to her nonstop about birth, but kept talking to her about just female body health in general, what she was seeing and her practice. And so I just really fell in love with all of it. I’ve always had such a natural curiosity towards these things anyway. So yeah, I love it. And when I decided to retire from birth work, I just felt such a strong desire to share everything I learned. And that’s when I created The Vagina Blog.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (02:23)
Wow, cool. So, a lot of these topics back in the day, and really not that long ago were taboo, right? You wouldn’t talk about it on social media. You wouldn’t even talk about it with your family. Maybe when you had some girlfriends together and you’re talking you would talk about some of these things. So what do you think is the importance of actually talking about these in the open publicly?
April Davis: (02:45)
It’s when we air things out, when we talk about them, it changes things. And we need to talk about these things. These are very important, crucial elements to healthy, happy living. Having a difficult sex life or not choosing, breastfeeding can be so challenging, breastfeeding is the perfect example because I, after I had my first, I had forceful let down, I didn’t even know what that was. The internet was not what it is today. I was having a hard time and I’m so grateful that I had someone that I can reach out to and say, “What is going on. Why is this happening,” because my daughter would latch on and then she’d bite me and then she would rip off and I’d spray all over the place. I mean, the whole thing was just like, “What am I doing?”
Dr. Dan Gubler: (03:31)
That must have been frustrating.
April Davis: (03:34)
Very, and I’m so glad that I had resources available to me to talk to and the more we talk about these things, the more we realize that we can reach out to our friends, we can reach out to our moms and our sisters and this stuff shouldn’t be taboo like it is, it really is part of life.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (03:50)
April Davis: (03:50)
Like any other part of your life, it’s important. So I just think talking about it is really important.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (03:57)
Yeah. I mean, it’s biology, right? And it’s natural. So, breastfeeding, you brought that up. For our women listeners that are struggling with breastfeeding, what are some of the tips and advice that you would give them?
April Davis: (04:14)
Reach out to someone, get in touch with a lactation consultant or your midwife, or maybe even your friend that has breastfed many babies way before you’re at the point of wanting to quit. Do it as soon as problems arise. I think that’s the issue is breastfeeding can be very frustrating because once it becomes difficult, once there’s injury to you or the baby, once there’s, any of this stuff becomes too difficult, you suddenly now have a baby that’s really hungry and that doesn’t last very long before you decide to quit. And so I would just say at the first sign of any issues, get help.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (04:54)
Okay. Yeah. Previously on the podcast, we had an epigeneticist who talked about epigenetics and how the change in your DNA can change things in your life. And he talked about nature versus nurture, so children who are loved and cared for even in their infancy, which includes breastfeeding were actually better as they grew up. They were more loving, they were more productive. And so that’s, that’s really interesting, these things that we do in infancy with our children have a big, a big impact, a big deal.
April Davis: (05:24)
Oh, a hundred percent. I actually, so nature versus nurture fascinates me because I am adopted. I was taken from my mother, I was a C-section baby, I’ve never had a drop of breast milk, right? And given to foster care and then was adopted by my parents. And then as an adult, got to go back and meet my biological family. It is the most interesting thing. So I love epigenetics. All of that’s fascinating.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (05:51)
How cool is that? Wow.
April Davis: (05:53)
Dr. Dan Gubler: (05:55)
Oh, wow. That’s awesome. So you do a lot with the vagina, obviously. The Vagina Blog, Vagina Blog Podcast, what are some general things you would tell us about the vagina?
April Davis: (06:05)
We have these weird beliefs around the vagina that, like for example, I always loved Ina May Gaskin says, “Your body is not a lemon.” So many people think that pregnancy, birth, all of this is gonna ruin their vagina and their vulva and it’s all going to be so messed up. Or intercourse over time, it’s going to stretch you out and mess you up. And I love, there’s a meme going around of shriveled up hotdogs. And they’re like, “These penises had too much sex. Look how weathered away and shriveled they are,” just to prove the point. These are beliefs we have around the vagina that it gets bigger or stretched out and all this other stuff. No, the vagina is made for intercourse, vaginas are made to have babies, all of these things. Just like a penis can be flacid and then become erect, that same thing happens internally. But because we can’t see it, we don’t believe it like we do when it comes to the penis. And so I just always want to make sure that people know their bodies are normal. Their bodies are made to do biological things, and it’s not going to ruin them. It’s not going to do anything to them.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (07:17)
Wow. That’s amazing. And I bet that’s empowering for these women.
April Davis: (07:21)
Yeah, I would hope so. I would really hope so because it is, I feel like as girls and just people in general with vaginas, as they go through maturation, as they mature, right, puberty. For boys, it’s empowering. “Yay. I have hair on my testicles. Yay I’m growing. Yay I have sweat and I wear deodorant and everything’s getting bigger and hairier and this is so mainly, my voice is changing.” They love it. It’s like this really empowering superhero moment. For girls it’s like, “And you’re going to bleed which is super messy and like really gross. And you’re going to get boobs, but keep them put away because that’s inappropriate and you’re going to grow all this hair, but get rid of it as soon as you possibly can because that’s gross.” It’s really a difficult time. And I really want to flip that on its head and try and change that into being just as empowering as it is for boys.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (08:14)
April Davis: (08:14)
And so I think the more that we can educate and educate in a positive light– we live in such a, I don’t love using the word patriarchal, but we live in a society that is patriarchal. It praises a lot of masculine qualities and I’m just ready to start praising feminine qualities and really counter that. It’s not that masculinity is bad. It’s that that’s not my fight.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (08:38)
April Davis: (08:39)
That’s not the game I need to be playing and those aren’t always my strength. I have many masculine strengths, but I’m really here for starting to develop my feminin strengths and seeing that in others and building that up as well.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (08:52)
Oh that’s wonderful. I have a gorgeous wife and three daughters and I’m on board with you there. Right? We need to empower women. As a scientist, I’m passionate about having women go into STEM, my daughters. I had an interesting experience when my daughter was my eldest daughter who’s 18 now, when she was in first grade and they kind of talked about what you wanted to be career wise and whatnot and she said she wanted to be a scientist. And her teacher after the class actually pulled her aside and said that women don’t go into science. You should actually do English or Humanities or something like that. And that made me livid, right? I mean, there’s no limit to what we can do, women and men. Right?
April Davis: (09:32)
Dr. Dan Gubler: (09:32)
I mean, so we need to empower women and let them know that they could do anything that they want. So I love that. And I love the mission of what you’re doing there.
April Davis: (09:41)
Yeah. But, even beyond that, I think sometimes once again, shifting women into “You could be a scientist and you can be a doctor and you can be all of these types of things,” it still is praising them for what they can be, which is very masculine.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (09:58)
Good point. Good point.
April Davis: (10:00)
So these are, this is stuff that we can’t– we don’t even realize we’re doing it sometimes because it is so deeply ingrained in our culture.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (10:09)
Yeah. Oh, that’s yeah. Very interesting. Very enlightening. Mind blowing. Boom. I think that’s something our listeners right now who will be listening to this, I think this is something they’ll find fascinating. Oh, that’s amazing.
April Davis: (10:24)
I was teasing a friend of mine because so many of the slurs that men say to each other, that I would say are inappropriate, typically have to do with the vagina or with females. [inaudible] that females do that men like when females do, right? But for some reason they say these to each other as slurs. And I pointed this out to him and it completely blew his mind. That’s a vagina. I would dare bet most men like vaginas, why are they calling their friends that is a bad word?
Dr. Dan Gubler: (10:58)
April Davis: (11:00)
A lot of these types of things that are so, they’re so ingrained. And then when you call it out, it’s like, “Oh wait, what?”
Dr. Dan Gubler: (11:08)
April Davis: (11:11)
Dr. Dan Gubler: (11:11)
So, you talked a little bit about menstruation, right? You just mentioned it. And menstruation is obviously a big deal. It’s part of life. For a lot of women it’s very difficult, it lays them out for several days. What thoughts or advice would you have for our women listeners on menstruation about knowledge, general knowledge, empowerment, maybe things that you can do while menstruating? What are your thoughts there?
April Davis: (11:40)
This is like such a perfect segue because we’re already kind of talking about this. So once again, culture, very masculin. If you go outside and you look up at the sky during the day, what do you see? The Sun, right? And he’s in the same spot. He goes across the sky at the same time every single day. He rises on the East he sets in the West, right? And it’s, it’s the same thing every single day. So 24 hour cycle, we know what the sun’s going to do. If you go outside at night and you look up at the sky, where is the moon? What size is she? Where is she? Is she even there? Or is she resting? Right? Women are the moon. So men, their hormone cycle is 24 hours. Right? Predictable. You’re the same person every single day hormonally. Women, hormonally are only the same 12 days a year and when you start to embrace that and realize like, “Okay, I’m a different critter. I need to treat myself differently.” We’ve been really, really — I love using the women’s, the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team as an example. A couple of years ago, they decided to start tracking all of their player’s menstrual cycles and instead of just having them train hard every single day and do an effective thing every single day, essentially training them like men, they started training them differently depending on where they were at in their cycle. They gave them different supplements depending on where they were at, they had them sleep more or less, depending on where they were at and then they took the World Cup.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (13:12)
April Davis: (13:14)
Right? What they have found is– I love using the seasons to compare to your cycles. So we have winter, which is when you’re menstruating, right? That’s when you want to hibernate, so you want to sleep, that’s when you want to eat warming foods, rest, like you want to take it easy. You go straight into Spring and that’s your follicular phase. This is as we’re leading up into ovulation. This is a great time to train hard, to lift hard or lift heavy, train hard and do cardio, and push yourself. Typically you don’t need quite as much sleep, you’re going to want to eat later. Ovulation is the same way. And then we head into our luteal phase, which is in preparation for menstruating. And that luteal phase is that week before. Most people go through an existential crisis at this point and they question all of their life’s choices. This is what I would classify as PMS. Right? And so we go through this luteal phase, which can be really not fun and nasty, but if you plan on it, if you know that this is just part of your cycle in your life and you start to accommodate for it, there is so much peace that comes and it’s fantastic to say, “Okay, right now I rest, right now I take a break because I know that next week I’m going to feel amazing and I’m going to hit it super hard.” And they have found this physically to be true, they found this mentally to be true and it’s hard because it is such a different way of living from go, go, go, go, go, push, push, push, push, push; very masculine. But the more that I’m diving into that, the more that I try to nurture this, the healthier and happier I am. And I see that across the board. I have a whole talk that I do about this and I did it at Alt Summit and one of the other presenters came up to me and said, “Oh yeah, we have an Excel spreadsheet for my entire office,” she has an all female office. She plays to their strengths throughout the month. So it’s ” Oh you’re ovulating, cool, you’re going to do our Instagram stories this week. Oh, you’re in your luteal phase, Perfect. You’re in deep thinking mode. I need you to think through this project and find out what we’re going to do next with this and think about this,” and caters to that hibernation phase and then caters to ovulation, that wanting outgoingness and wow. It was the coolest thing to find out someone had really implemented this and I think even women, as they hear this will oftentimes bristle and be like, “No. Anything a man can do, I can do,” but the reality is if you step out of that lane and then into this one, there’s so much peace. There’s so much peace in it. There’s so much strength. And so just doing that alone, I feel like helps quite a bit. And beyond that, I love the book, the Period Repair Manual. It is a fantastic resource if you are suffering from horrible periods, that one’s a great one. Getting away from tampon use is always a good idea. Tampons are very inflammatory and not super good for your body. Typically once you get away from them your periods will shorten, pain will subside. It’s incredible. As I have people come back to me and say, “Oh my gosh, she switched to a cup or period panties,” literally anything else and had so many things go better.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (16:25)
Interesting. So I love what you’re talking here. You know, the second part of the title of this podcast is The Proactive Wellness Podcast, right? And you have proactive health and you have reactive health. And that’s a lot about what you’re talking here is being proactive, right? Doing things beforehand, having knowledge and knowing what to do and how to prepare. I love that. I also love what you were saying about performance based on the phases of the ovulation cycle. That’s really cool. You know, it’s a personalized performance for lack of a better word. Really cool.
April Davis: (16:58)
Yeah. And we don’t know enough about this. These are things that I just, I wish they taught in school and don’t understand why they don’t. The only thing we get is like, “Oh, you’re going to bleed once a month and it’s going to suck.”
Dr. Dan Gubler: (17:09)
April Davis: (17:09)
I mean that’s — to summarize maturation. That’s what you get in 5th grade, you know?
Dr. Dan Gubler: (17:15)
Interesting. So we talked about PMS, PMDD is also a huge issue that affects a lot of women. And that can be, you can go into the, into the pit there, into the canyon and it’s hard to come out.
April Davis: (17:33)
Definitely. And it’s for people I know that have it, some of them have done medication. I also, I’m such an advocate for zinc and magnesium. That’s part of just the daily supplement. Those all alone will change menstrual cycle and period and for the better and your skin, I mean, it helps with so many things. But beyond that, some of my friends that have PMDD, they just know they have it. They just know that that’s not going to be a good week and they just have to kind of map their life out around it. There’s a lot of things that they have done to improve, but ultimately sometimes you just have to say, “You know what, once a month, I just get to rest for three days. And that just has to be, that just has to be it.”
Dr. Dan Gubler: (18:16)
Right. Oh, again, right. Being proactive, taking care of your health. I love how you said supplementation, right? A lot of people think supplementation is for other things, right? It can’t help with women’s health, especially menstruation. I love how you say zinc and magnesium.
April Davis: (18:30)
Yes. Minimum, zinc and magnesium, minimum. Supplementation is a game-changer. I’m managing my PCLS through supplements.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (18:37)
April Davis: (18:38)
I’m ovulating regularly because of supplements. You know, we really, it frustrates me because we don’t often give supplements the value that they really deserve.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (18:48)
Right, yeah, exactly. I have women in my family. I love them. I am a formulator, right? And so I was really excited. We developed a formula that was supposed to help with brain fog, cognition, natural energy, no caffeine. But one of the interesting things we found is this supplement significantly reduced PMS. You usually go into kind of that valley and you come up and when it comes to mood depression and all these other things, and we found that it basically eliminated that in a lot of women. And so supplementation is a big deal, right? I mean a lot of people say, “Well, just nutrition and exercise, right? Eat healthy and exercise and you’re okay.” Well that assumes we live in a perfect world, right? That there’s no stress, that there’s no lifestyle factors and so I love how you say that. Supplementation is one of the legs of a three-legged stool that can help us and it’s cool to hear you say that related to menstrual health and other women’s health issues.
April Davis: (19:46)
Yeah. No, it’s huge. I, that’s what’s hard. We’re combating more environmental factors than humans ever have. It makes complete sense to me that we would need to be supplementing.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (20:00)
Right. Very cool. So let’s talk about yeast infections. That’s a big deal for women. Are there things that you’ve seen that we can do? Recurring yeast infections can be a big, a big deal. What are your thoughts there?
April Davis: (20:14)
Yeah. There’s a couple different things. Always, always work with your care provider, and that comes with hire a good care provider in the first place, and then make sure you’re staying on top of those things with your care provider. I also, I’m a huge fan. So I myself went through a really, really nasty yeast infection that I tried pharmaceutical drugs on and everything; could not get rid of it. It really took changing my diet in order to get rid of it and so it may come to that. It’s hard because people don’t want to hear that, especially for something as simple as a yeast infection that you might have to change your diet, but the reality is, yeast feeds on sugar and anything that metabolizes is sugar and if you stop eating those things, the yeast dies.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (21:03)
Yeah. I love how you brought up, I love how you brought up diet, right? I mean, a lot of people don’t know that diet can directly influence all these things; breastfeeding, menstruation, PCLS, yeast infections. I mean women’s health, a lot of it starts in the kitchen. So I love how you mentioned that.
April Davis: (21:23)
Yeah. A well balanced diet will only help you in every single way and eating healthfully, which I think we can all agree, just eat more vegetables. There’s all different versions of diet. Just eat more vegetables.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (21:39)
Right. Well said. Well said. So you talk about finding a good health provider. How would you go about doing that?
April Davis: (21:46)
Interview. You need to interview them and you also, you need someone you can trust. I almost, sometimes I feel bad for my doctor because he has to put up with me. But as I was interviewing doctors, my first family doctor that I adored retired, and I was like, “What are we going to do?” Because I’m particular about how things go and also how open they are. I want a care provider who will sit and talk with me about all the things and will go over everything and who will be straightforward with me about why they want to do what they want to do. And I’m so grateful that I took the time to do that because like, so my daughter has Type 1 and when she went through diagnosis, having him show up at the hospital to help oversee her care was so comforting because I already had a relationship of trust with him. And I was scared. I was so scared of the situation. It was a horrible emergency and it was, I needed someone I really could trust making her decisions at that point. And I was so grateful that he and I, we already had that relationship. So the frustration that I’m seeing, here in the United States in particular, is that we have a lot of care providers who aren’t willing to explain themselves or just, they really get caught up in like, “Well, that’s what I told you to do so that’s what you’re going to do.”
Dr. Dan Gubler: (23:11)
April Davis: (23:11)
And so I’m a big fan of when you start having the discussions about maybe like birth control with your doctor, make sure they explain the side effects, make sure they explain what’s happening, make sure that they answer your questions because I feel like if we can start having the birth control conversations and getting some transparency maybe around that, ideally then we’re going to be seeing better care in birth. Because right now our maternal mortality rates are going up. Meaning we have more people dying in childbirth today than when our moms had babies, which is insane. And that has a lot to do with the lack of transparency, lack of consent, too much intervention and just in general doctors not being as invested in their clients or being so overloaded with clients that they’re not providing optimal care. We have to demand more. We pay way too much for our healthcare not to.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (24:09)
Wonderful. And I like how you say interview, right? A lot of times we think that when we go to a doctor, we’re locked into them, right, and that we can’t get out, that we have to grin and bear it if it’s someone that we don’t particularly like, what not. We don’t think we can’t go to someone else.
April Davis: (24:27)
Especially when people that are pregnant get really caught up in that one where it’s like, “Well, I started with this guy for my pregnancy” and it’s like, no, that’s the perfect time to fire your doctor. Find a new one; you want someone that you trust, especially when it comes to having babies, you need someone that you 100% trust to make the best decisions for you because they may end up cutting you open at some point, whether it’s your midsection or your vagina. You need someone that you want a hundred percent trust before you let them do those things.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (24:58)
Yeah. Makes sense, right? And so that’s good to know. I think that it’s empowering our listeners. So you talked about contraceptives a little bit, right, and you were talking about the shift, right, with masculinity and whatnot. It’s really cool to see that in the clinic, you have the pill for women. It’s cool to see that pharmaceuticals are trying to develop the pill for men. And I think that’s, I think that’s really interesting.
April Davis: (25:24)
I’m interested to see. Here’s what’s difficult because, so contraceptive drugs are terrible for you, right? It’s not super good for you. And as much as I would love to see men carrying their fair of the load, right, off the birth control. I also, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I want to go mess up their hormones as well. Like I would much prefer we all, like we find better ways other than contraceptive drugs for both genders rather than to be like, “Well, we’ve been doing pills so that you get to.”
Dr. Dan Gubler: (25:54)
Right. Right. Interesting. So we’ve been talking a lot about women’s health and obviously what women can do to be proactive, but you know, a lot of our listeners are men, right? And so as men, what are some things that we can do to support the special women in our lives?
April Davis: (26:12)
You know, I think taking ownership and birth control and the birth control decisions and being an active participant in that is huge. As soon as we decided we were done with kids, it really wasn’t a question whether or not my husband was getting a vasectomy. He just was like, “You’ve been carrying this burden for so long, of course I’m getting a vasectomy.” There wasn’t a lot of discussion around that and I think realizing too that so many of, I look at, I have so many friends who have been on birth control for 10-20 years; they’ve had side effects from it the entire time and not once has their male partner been like, “You know, we can try something else. You don’t have to be miserable for 10 solid years.” So I think having some ownership in the birth control realm definitely helps. I think supporting our partner in general, as they go throughout their cycle and things like that also makes a big difference as well. And then I always love seeing partners take an interest when– through pregnancy and delivery and being hands-on parents, you know?
Dr. Dan Gubler: (27:20)
Oh, I love that. It reminds me, I mean, one of the principles for success in life is communication, right? A lot of times conflict and anger and those things start by not accurately communicating. And so I like what you’re saying, you know, and I think a lot of that relates to communication, right? Being open with your spouse about menstruation, about breastfeeding, about pregnancy and some of the challenges there.
April Davis: (27:44)
Yeah. And it’s things like breastfeeding too I feel like for me as a wife and a partner, I needed so much support. I needed someone being like, “You are doing a good job, thank you for breastfeeding our kids. I know it’s hard on you and I see you and I appreciate you and I support whatever decisions you make when it comes to feeding our children.” I was so grateful for that. It was so, so needed. And I think too, opening up those avenues of communication when it comes to sex and intimacy. We need to be talking with our partners more about our sex lives. And we need to have a comfortable place to do that where people aren’t getting their feelings hurt or getting really offended and, and being really real about what we do and do not want from our sex lives. That changes. That changes throughout the course of the relationship, that changes depending on the season that you’re in, whether you are going through pregnancy or postpartum or breastfeeding or depression or a death in the family or health problems, or — that all changes. And so if your partner’s not willing to speak up about your sex life, take them to lunch and you be the one willing to speak up about your sex life.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (28:53)
I love that. Yeah. It all comes down to communication. That’s healthy for relationships, for societies, for the world as a whole. I love that. Wonderful. So April, I mean, this has been so fun talking with you. The information you’ve given has been amazing. We sure, we sure appreciate it. What final comments or advice would you leave with our listeners? We’ve talked about a lot of things, are there some key points you want to drive home? Things that you haven’t talked about that you’d like to? What advice would you give?
April Davis: (29:24)
I would just tell people if you’re unsatisfied with your sex life, it can change. If you’re unsatisfied with your period and how difficult it is, it can change and you should never fake orgasms ever. Just don’t do it.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (29:42)
Alright. Well, this has been amazing, April. It’s been a lot of fun to talk about you with these topics and communication. I love it. I love that we’ve been able to talk about some of these things. I think it will empower our listeners because again, we’re talking about proactive health, so empowering our listeners, both the male and female listeners on this show. This has been amazing. So April, sure appreciate you being on the show. It’s a delight and I wish you and your family the very best.
April Davis: (30:08)
Thank you so much for having me.
Dr. Dan Gubler: (30:11)
Wonderful. Well, thanks to our dear listeners for tuning in. We sure appreciate you. If you liked the show, please leave a review and we’re grateful to be with you on this journey as we talk about several topics and today women’s health, it’s been amazing. Hope you found it helpful. Thank you my friends. Thanks for listening. This is Dr. Dan, signing off.