Dr. Betsy Greenleaf is my guest today and she is the host and creator of the Happy Vagina Rally.
About Dr. Betsy Green
Dr. Betsy Greenleaf is a premier women’s health expert, entrepreneur, inventor, and business leader. She has specialized in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery for over 20 years. She’s a trailblazer because she was the first female in the United States to become board certified in urogynecology. Dr. Greenleaf’s professional reputation has led to her being sought after by medical societies, associations, and corporations to provide lecturers on advanced training.
In 2018, she was honored with the title of Distinguished Fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Obstetrics and Gynecology for her service and dedication to the field. She holds committee positions for many women’s health organizations. She’s a board examiner, spokesperson, and has been quoted in major media outlets. Dr. Greenleaf is also the CEO of The Pelvic Floor Store, an online store dedicated to finding reliable products for pelvic health.
Dr. Betsy takes a holistic Mind Body Spirit approach and believes many answers to a healthy life are found within. She views her role in life as a wellness guide and I love that she has taken it to the next level with the Happy Vagina Rally.
On this podcast, we are going to talk about…
* What is The Happy Vagina Rally?
* Who is talking about pelvic health at the rally
* The many effects of birth control on your body
* How conventional gynecology is stuck in the 1950s
* The relationship between vagina and gut health
* Pelvic health
* How to get comfortable with our vagina and overall health
* When is The Happy Vagina Rally?
Welcome, Dr. Betsy to the Gutsy Gynecologist Blog!
Dr. Betsy: I’m so excited to be here. Thank you so much for having me.
Dr. Tabatha: Oh my gosh, yes. You have an amazing rally called The Happy Vagina Rally. Please Tell My Listeners what is the Happy Vagina Rally and what is it about.
Dr. Betsy: I realized that there’s so much about pelvic health and hormones that we don’t talk about. Luckily, people listening to your podcast are in the place where they’re listening to this kind of stuff, but the general population doesn’t really know and they’re afraid to ask.
So I decided to get a bunch of experts together, and even though we call it The Happy Vagina Rally, it’s more to get your attention. It’s not just about pelvic health. Dr. Tabitha is giving an amazing lecture on hormones. So we are talking about hormones, diet, weight, bone health, sexual health, and everything that a woman needs to know starting at 35 and over. I know 35 is still very young, but you’re starting to knock on that pre-menopause door. So this is to get people prepared. It’s also for the people that are in perimenopause and menopause.
Dr. Tabatha: I think you hit on an important point. I am seeing women younger and younger having hormone issues to the point where we’re now seeing perimenopause starting as early as 35 and really, what’s happening is our hormones are imbalanced, right?
Dr. Betsy: Definitely. There are so many different factors that go in there. Gut health really plays such a big role in our inflammation and our hormone health. So everything from gut health and distress, and you know, the world is not getting any less stressful.
Dr. Tabatha: No, it’s not. It’s just compounding. We’re more stressed out and we have more environmental toxins. There are so many things affecting us. So that’s awesome that your summit is going to cover all of these important key topics.
What Are You Talking About During the Happy Vagina Rally?
Dr. Betsy: I’m talking a lot about how gut health affects vaginal health. People are like, “Wait a minute, how is that connected?” So we talk a lot about how the microbiome of the vagina and the gut interact. We discuss how they actually interact with brain health, where all this is connected with anxiety and depression. From a pelvic standpoint, it can impact recurrent infections or even low sex drive!
It has been amazing to me that they’re finding out that if the microbiome, (the bacteria balance) in the vagina, if this is off, it could actually affect your sex drive. I have a whole lecture on that. It’s amazing!
- We have a urogynecologist who’s talking about prolapse and incontinence.
- We have one of the leading women vulvar dermatologists, what a rare specialty.
- Birth Control and The Many Affects on Your Body
- The Relationship Between Vagina and Gut Health
One of the Topics Covered in the Happy Vagina Rally is Pain with Intercourse
Dr. Betsy: We have a lecture talking about pain with intercourse, which unfortunately happens as we get older and is very common. Our presenter is an erotic massage coach and it’s fascinating because this is what she does for a living. She teaches people how to do erotic massage.
When I first heard about it, I thought it was interesting, but then thought “why would I want to do that? Why would I do that for my partner? I want to be selfish.” However, she explains it in a way that makes you feel super empowered. It’s all about female empowerment and how to learn to tap into your femininity and sexuality. It helps you to feel empowered because you can use massage to drive your partner crazy.
Dr. Tabatha: Oh my gosh we need to check that out! As we get older, we don’t have the same level of sex hormones. The desire isn’t always there. We’re not walking around looking at guys and thinking, “Man, he’s hot. I want him.” You have to start to initiate the acts, get into the behaviors and those feelings of enjoyment and pleasure will stimulate the desire. It’s kind of the reverse of when we’re younger.
We used to want it and then have it. Now, we have to have it and that will perpetuate us wanting it. I love the idea of finding new ways to be sensual and enjoy physical touch because it’s not just about sex drive anymore.
Dr. Betsy: Yeah, she’s super fun and that’s a fun lecture too.
We Also Have a Pelvic Meditation during the Happy Vagina Rally
It might not seem that impressive during the summit, but I have a pelvic meditation. It’s not just meditation, I actually did a lot of research into certain tones and the certain tones of music that stimulate the pelvic chakra, which is this energy center in our pelvis. Also, if you listen to it with headphones, there’s something called binaural beats or binaural music, where if you listen, it’s slightly different tones in your left ear versus your right ear. They found that scientifically when you listen to this type of music, it actually induces relaxation. It can be very relaxing and help to reduce anxiety. That was fun to make.
There’s a Class on Fun Pelvic Floor Exercises (Not just Kegels)
I have a bunch of people teaching exercises. We also have a Urogynecologist who’s actually teaching belly dancing to strengthen the pelvic floor. Because that’s the other thing, I wanted it to be more fun and not let’s just sit here and listen to a bunch of lectures. There’s some fun and humor. We’re trying to have fun with the idea. That’s why we went with the name rally, which is funny because my company didn’t like that name, but I didn’t want it to be a summit, seminar, or lecture. I wanted it to be fun!
Dr. Tabatha: Yeah, you’re trying to rally women to wake up and realize that there is something that can be done about their issues. They might not be getting answers from their conventional gynecologist. I love empowering women to take their health back into their own hands because you do have to be your own health advocate. You have to stand up, ask questions, and fight back. Otherwise, you’re not going to actually reclaim your health. You’re going to stay the way you are, or as most of us, just keep sliding further and further into disease. That’s not what we want.
Getting Comfortable With Our Vagina and Overall Health
I actually found research that 65% of women are uncomfortable saying the word vagina.
If we can’t say that word, and 80% of women will have a pelvic health condition at some point in their lives, then how can we talk about it and get help? That was really important for me too. Women need to get more comfortable saying the word vagina and advocating for themselves.
Dr. Tabatha: I think that’s so important. If we can’t even be comfortable talking about it, we’re not going to ask? Doctors don’t even ask these questions, so you HAVE to ask them yourself.
I would get women who would have prolapse where their body parts were physically coming out of their vagina and they didn’t know there was anything they could do about it. I didn’t ask, they would just deal with it. It’s heartbreaking to me how much the medical system fails women so thank you so much for all you’re doing because you are making a huge difference.
Dr. Betsy: I remember one time I asked a woman who was in her 80s if she was having any pain with sexual activity. She was shocked that I asked her, but she said, “Yes, I am.” Then all of a sudden, my medical brain got out and I’m thinking, “Okay, what things are going on in her vagina?” So I asked her, “Are you having pain with initial penetration? Are you having pain with deep penetration?” And she’s said, “No, my husband is crushing me because he’s so heavy. I can’t stand the weight of him on top of me.” I never thought of that and I said, “Well have you tried other positions?” She didn’t even know there was anything other than missionary. She had been married for over 50 years and had no idea that there was anything else. I told her that we need to adjust the position to get you someplace that’s more comfortable.
Dr. Tabatha: That’s such an important story. You had no idea, but you started that conversation.
When is The Happy Vagina Rally?
Dr. Betsy: It’s June 9th – June 12th starting at 9 am Eastern time. It’s about four hours a day. So you can easily fit that into your schedule. It’s usually about half-hour lectures with 8 lectures a day.
There’s also an opportunity to purchase it. If you are like most women and have a busy schedule, but you want to watch it at your own leisure, there’s that option also.
That’s a Wrap
I know you got something out of that interview because we dropped a lot of good juicy nuggets in there to help you realize why something might be going on with your vagina and that there are options that you might not have even considered before. If we can get all the pieces of the puzzle turned over, figured out, and put them together, you’re going to have a more clear picture on what the heck’s going on with your health and your struggles. Then you can have hope to improve your sexual health and create a “happy vagina.”