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On today’s podcast, we will be talking with board-certified OB-GYN, Dr. Jennifer Lincoln, about evidence-based information on reproductive health.

Dr. Jennifer Lincoln (she/her) is a board-certified OB-GYN who currently practices as an OB hospitalist and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Lincoln loves using social media to provide evidence-based, easy-to-digest information while busting the many myths surrounding vaginal and reproductive health.

Dr. Lincoln is the author of, Let’s Talk About Down There: An OB-GYN Answers to All of Your Burning Questions Without Making You Feel Embarrassed for Even Asking. Dr. Lincoln is also a bonafide star on TikTok with more than 2.4 million followers about sex and reproductive health. Dr. Lincoln is married to a pediatrician and together they have two young boys.

We talk about her journey to becoming an OB hospitalist to address the needs in sexual and reproductive health. We also talk about the importance of debunking reproductive myths and dismantling the shame in talking about sexual and reproductive health.

Content warning: We mention sexual health, reproduction, and prevention of birth trauma.

Resources

Learn more about Dr. Jennifer Lincoln here. Follow Dr. Lincoln on TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram

Listen to EBB 73 here

Learn more about Charlotte Willcox here

Learn more about the Labia Library here

Learn more about the Vulva Gallery here. Follow the Vulva Gallery on Instagram

Transcript

Rebecca Dekker:

Hi, everyone on today’s podcast, we will be talking with board-certified OB-GYN, Dr. Jennifer Lincoln, about evidence-based information on reproductive health.

Welcome to the Evidence Based Birth® podcast. My name is Rebecca Dekker and I’m a nurse with my PhD and the founder of Evidence Based Birth®. Join me each week as we work together to get evidence-based information into the hands of families and professionals around the world. As a reminder, this information is not medical advice. See ebbirth.com/disclaimer, for more details.

Hi everyone. My name is Rebecca Dekker. Pronouns she/her.

Iya Mystique Faodugun:

My name is Iya Mystique Faodugun. Pronouns, they/she, and we will be your co-host for today’s episode.

Rebecca Dekker:

Today we are so excited to welcome Dr. Jennifer Lincoln, OB-GYN, to talk about evidence-based information on reproductive health. Just as a heads up, we will be talking openly about topics such as sexual health and reproduction. And we’ll talk about the prevention of birth trauma. If there are any other detailed content or trigger warnings, we always post them in the description or show notes that go along with this episode. And now we’d like to introduce our honored guest.

Iya Mystique Faodugun:

Dr. Jennifer Lincoln, pronouns, she/her is a board-certified OB-GYN who currently practices as an OB hospitalist and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, or IBCLC, in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Lincoln loves using social media to provide evidence-based, easy-to-digest information while busting the many myths surrounding vaginal and reproductive health.

She believes that breaking down the shame and stigma surrounding our bodies is the best way to be informed and empowered. Dr. Lincoln is also the author of, Let’s Talk About Down There: An OB-GYN Answers to All of Your Burning Questions Without Making You Feel Embarrassed for Even Asking.

And she’s also a bonafide star on TikTok with more than 2.4 million followers, guys, watching her videos about sex and reproductive health. Dr. Lincoln is married to a pediatrician and together they have two young boys who she says, “Will definitely be reading her book at some point.” We are so thrilled that Dr. Lincoln is here. Welcome to the Evidence Based Birth® podcast.

Dr. Jennifer Lincoln:

Thank you so much for having me, Mystique and Rebecca. I love your enthusiasm in that introduction. I need to channel that to the rest of my life.

Iya Mystique Faodugun:

Channel that energy. I love it. I love it what you do. Yes. We’ve definitely love having you here right here.

Dr. Jennifer Lincoln:

Oh, thank you. I’m excited to talk about this today. So thank you.

Rebecca Dekker:

Yeah. And we’re so glad that Ali Buchanan, our content team manager at EBB who also lives in Portland near you, put us in touch with you and recruiting you to come on the podcast. We’d love to share how you got started in your line of work?

Dr. Jennifer Lincoln:

Yeah. So yeah, it was great to meet Ali at a rally. That rhymed, I didn’t mean for that too. But yeah, it’s nice to have sometimes the stars align. As for work, I am the first person in my family to go to college and then just kind of always wanted to be a doctor and went to medical school. And it was there doing my rotations that I realized I loved OB-GYN. I loved reproductive health.

I tell this story that I went to medical school at Tulane in New Orleans. And it was during my third year that Katrina hit. And so we had to evacuate and I actually did my OB rotation in Houston, Texas, while we were sort of evacuees from our home city. And it was an insane time. And I was at a hospital where the birth, there were just babies everywhere. And it was a med student dream because you actually got to be a part of the team. And I loved it. And I remember thinking if I could love OB in this scenario, then I should probably do this for the rest of my life. Because in the worst of times it was fun, so imagine how awesome it would be when my life was normal? And it proved right.

And then I did my training at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon, and briefly worked for a few years back on the east coast and then came back to Portland where we are, and we will never leave. I’m never moving again. And I work right now as an OB hospitalist. I’m going on my fifth or sixth year doing this work. And I love it for a lot of the reasons that we’ll talk about. And I love being able to focus my care. And it has given me the flexibility to do the other things, like Mystique mentioned, like the social media and writing a book and just educating in a different way.

So it’s never where I thought my career would’ve gone. I can guarantee you I never told anybody I’d be on TikTok when I was graduating medical school. So who knows what the next 10 years hold? I have no idea, but it’s super fun to see how a career can change as your life changes too.

Iya Mystique Faodugun:

And I mentioned you being an OB hospitalist and a lot of folks who are list thing may not know what that is. So can you tell our listeners and share and explain to them, what an OB hospitalist is and what you do and that matter?

Dr. Jennifer Lincoln:

Yes. And yeah, I am not offended when people say, “Wait, what’s an OB hospitalist.” Because we’re still from a new breed. We’re still getting our legs under us and that’s because really this term only came into use in the early 2000’s, which is relatively new in medicine. So if you think of internal medicine hospitalists, those are physicians who care for hospitalized people. And I think that’s very familiar to us because gone are the days where your general practitioner sees you in the office and cares for you in the hospital and has a full panel of patient. And so they’ve sort of divvied it up into sort of the outpatient inpatient world.

And in the early 2000’s, this started to be a way that we were thinking, how could we deliver obstetric care more consistently in a safer manner, help the careers of OB-GYNs who can very often get burned out from middle of the night deliveries and having a full panel in clinic and having to be in the operating room. It’s a lot. And so an OB hospitalist, you might hear the term OB-GYN hospitalist, you might hear the term laborist, but the Society of OB-GYN Hospitalists, of which I’m a board member of, really codified term, OB-GYN hospitalist. And within that you can just do OB or you could do OB or you can do OB and GYN.

And so we are like internal medicine hospitalists in that we care for hospitalized pregnant people or people who need gynecologic care. So we solely work inpatient only. And I like to tell people, it’s not just that we, or they’re to delivering babies, but we work in triage. We can compliment outpatient providers who are in the office and can’t come in for deliveries, or if there’s a patient in labor and they’re in the operating room, we can be there for emergencies or for that precipitous birth that comes in and they’re not able to get there on time.

And the goal really is to increase safety and consistency on the unit as well as helping other providers who are having a hard time balancing it all. Our presence on the unit can allow for things like VBACs or trial of labor after cesareans in some hospitals where otherwise the OB’s would not be able to commit to that. So, because of that, we have private practice doctors who are able to stay home and come in for the delivery, but they know that I’m there, or my colleagues are there to allow for that safe labor.

We work with the maternal-fetal medicine doctors, and this is one of my favorite things, because we get to co-manage the high-risk pregnant patients. And it allows our maternal-fetal medicine physicians to have a real-life because in nights and nighttime, and on weekends, they don’t have to be in the hospital 24/7. We can manage their patients and they can come in if needed.

We assist in cases, whether those are C-sections or emergencies. We can consult in the emergency room or elsewhere. And really we are the experts in emergencies. So shoulder dystocia, hemorrhage, cord prolapse, emergency C-section, that’s our bread and butter. And not only do we pride ourselves on that, but we also pride ourselves on educating our staff, trainees, learners, and really making sure that we’re up to date in the most evidence-based care. And it’s super fun.

Some people kind of joke and say, “Well, that sounds like a glorified resident.” And I really don’t think that’s the case because we have a, I feel, a much different scope of practice. My most favorite part, other than working with the high-risk OB-GYN’s, is when patients come in and they don’t have an assigned provider, maybe they’re traveling from out of town, maybe their doctor, midwife doesn’t deliver in our hospital, or they have no prenatal care, those patients become. And some of the most challenging ones, the patients who come in and have no care and they’re full-term, it might seem really challenging to other people. For us, it’s really satisfied because I feel like we can have this very intense encounter and we can give them a good positive experience without the judgment, because we can do this. We’re used to this. This is not something that we never see.

So it’s a lot and it can be different at every hospital, how it looks like, but no two days are the same that’s for sure.

Rebecca Dekker:

So you do work in shifts then? So you have a schedule of when you’re assigned to be in the hospital?

Dr. Jennifer Lincoln:

Yes. And Rebecca, I think maybe you hit the other favorite part of it is that it allows us to have lives. And so I work in a group of nine total hospitalists, and all of us are part-time and we all have other things going on outside of our lives and it allows us to have that balance. So we do 12-hour shifts. Some people in other hospitals do 20’s, we are very committed to not working in a sleep-deprived state. So we do twelves and it can vary based on the month or the week, how many we’re working, but when you’re at work, you’re at work. And when you’re at home, you’re at home.

And I love that because even in a 12-hour shift, if I’m getting killed, I know that I’m okay, because I’m going to go home. I’m going to get a full night’s sleep. I don’t have to bring the pager home with me. And I think that really helps for things like C-section rates, I have no… There is absolutely no impetus for me to get a patient delivered before I go off my shift or do the C-section because we’re all salaried. We all get paid the same. So there’s no difference in RVU’s or anything like that. So all of that stuff that may lead to increases in interventions and C-sections, we don’t have to worry about that, which I really like.

Rebecca Dekker:

I wanted to let our listeners know that we interviewed another hospitalist in episode 73. And that’s Dr. Nicole Rankins, who’s also on social media a lot and has a podcast. And I think it’s really interesting that both of you have taken that extra time you have, because you are a hospitalist and you don’t really get to do a lot of that prenatal education because you’re dealing with people towards the end of pregnancy.

So I love how you’ve shifted to doing education on social media. So I know you use your social media platform to provide easy-to-digest information that’s evidence-based about reproductive health, and Mystique and I were wondering if you could share any myths that you would like to debunk about reproductive health? I know you cover a lot of them in your book, “Let’s Talk About Down There,” but are there three top ones you wanted to share today with us?

Dr. Jennifer Lincoln:

Yeah. I think that could be we could just do an entire season on that, but I will back up and say that you hit the nail on the head, that being an OB hospitalist isn’t perfect because I do, I miss those long term relationships and I especially miss the relationships with my adolescent patients and sort of the pre and post counseling, I think that’s also why I got my IBCLC, is I love doing that stuff.

So yeah, social media is sort of this way that I fill that void and I get to scratch that itch. So yeah. So, myths? Oh geez. There’s a lot of them. I would say the top three that I see the first one relates to birth control and birth control causing infertility, which time and time again, there’s a lot of misinformation about birth control out there. And I think there’s many reasons for it, but one of the biggest ones that I see, and it doesn’t matter how many TikToks I post, how many Instagram posts, how many videos I make, people will still say, “But yes, but birth control causes infertility.”

And so I’m constantly debunking that one. And the reason a lot of this stuff is out there because in a soundbite that’s very catchy, that gets views. It doesn’t take into account the nuances of, well, if you’re on birth control for 20 years and you come off of it, your fertility has changed and it’s not the birth control. And so spending time educating about that is one.

The second one that I hear a lot too also relates to birth control, which is so many people say that things will “cancel out birth control.” Melatonin was a big one. And I had never heard this in my residency training. And I thought so much on social media that I actually did my co-residents and said, “Did I miss this day? Is something going on about melatonin?” I was horrified like, “Oh my goodness.” And no, I had not. But the idea that all antibiotics interfere with your birth control, melatonin, and lots of other things. So spending time educating that. And again, I could make a post on that every day. And I still feel that I would not make a dent.

And then I think the third one, a huge myth is just what vaginas are supposed to look and taste like, vulvas and vaginas, because I see more recipes for smoothies and detoxes and teas so that you can taste like a pina colada, and the last time I checked, it’s not supposed to. But there’s this whole societal idea of women are supposed to be clean and fragrance and clean-shaven and pre-pubescent, and that has a whole, we could spend the whole day unpacking why that is the case and the issues around that.

But just so much that’s out there and that gets perpetuated. And it really bugs me when I see other vagina and vulva owners spreading this and passing this on. And, again, I can’t blame them because they’re getting that misinformation, but it just, it hurts even more. I’m like, “Come on, we need to be lifting each other up and getting rid of these harmful ideas.”

But what can you expect when we don’t have our comprehensive, medically accurate sex education in this country? That’s the exception, not the rule. And we are shamed from birth. And we’re told that vaginas are dirty and we can’t talk about periods? So yeah, it’s a lot.

Rebecca Dekker:

Yeah, you go Mystique.

Iya Mystique Faodugun:

Because that definitely sparked something in my brain where you’re like, “Oh, it’s supposed to look a certain way or smell a certain way or taste a certain way.” And yeah, it brings also a lot of shame and guilt of those who are like, “Well, mine, it doesn’t look like this. It doesn’t smell like this. Something must be wrong with me.” And then people start doing a lot of things due to the information that’s being passed and it causes more harm.

Dr. Jennifer Lincoln:

Yeah.

Iya Mystique Faodugun:

And it throws everything off. And now it’s worse even than it started before, even then it was just normal. It’s like, that was you. Everybody doesn’t have to smell the… So I’m glad you definitely wrote a book, “Let’s Talk About It,” because it seems like it’s kind of taboo to talk and kind of like, no, that’s, this is a term that I roll my eyes at, that’s not “ladylike” to talk about things.

And you see in my family, especially in my culture, a lot in the Black community, we don’t talk about it and we need to talk about it. Whether you’re Black, white, Latinx, whoever, if you own what I consider, you’re a womb holder, you own a womb, or you menstruate, you own a vagina. You have to talk about these things. And these things are needed to be discussed. So we all, as a community whether, whichever culture we are educated and we can do better to take better care of ourselves and not be ashamed of it.

So I want to just kind of let’s dive right into it, because I’m all about diving into what inspired you just to write your book about, ‘Let’s Talk About Down There?”

Dr. Jennifer Lincoln:

So basically everything that you just said. Just that idea that I grew up and I went to Catholic schools all my life. And I always say this with a disclaimer that I’m not here to say that going to Catholic school is bad. What I am here to say is that any school, whether it’s a public or private school that fails to equip you with how your body works, and not only that, but instills a sense of shame is doing a huge disservice to their students. And then we just grow up and become adults who have no idea what’s going on. We’ve internalized, like you said, all this shame. So when something goes wrong down there, we don’t go to the doctor or we’re too afraid. Or we’re just like, “Well, I guess that’s just me.” Or when our partner says, “Oh, you have to shave if you want me to perform oral sex.” And we’re like, Well, of course.” Because otherwise it’s gross, right? And in the porn industry, that’s all you see.

So I wanted to write this book because I’m so passionate about getting this information out there. I’m more horrified what I see every day on social media. And while I enjoy doing that, I just wanted another way to get this info out there. I couldn’t think of a book that you could pick up, you could look at, you could quickly go through, because I made my book very intentional. I was like, What does Gen Z read these days?” They scroll and they read post and you got to hook them in the first three seconds. So I tried to make my chapters, my questions, very visual, very to the point, heavily illustrated, not a lot of time because I wanted to catch people.

And that’s okay. I’m not making fun of it. That’s where we are. And that’s all right. So public health is about communicating in the way that people get it. And so I wanted to just have another way that that info was out there. And in my perfect world, I tell people, “This is a book I want you to read in the bathroom. And then I want you to leave it next to the toilet. And then your partner picks it up or your daughter picks it up.” Because that’s how you break down the stigma and everybody reads stuff when there in the bathroom.

So leave it and then you go, “Oh my goodness. I didn’t know that.” Or, “I didn’t know this.” Just another way I love the idea of this book being passed around. And a mother may buy it for her daughter, but then she opens it up and she goes, “Well, I didn’t know that that’s how you clean sex toys. I didn’t know that you could even do that.” And when you, this specifically spoke to the Black community, so Charlotte Willcox is my illustrator, she’s amazing. She illustrates fantastic work. And I found her because her work was on display in the Vagina Museum in London, which if there’s ever a museum I want to go to, it’s that one.

She illustrates people who look like real people. So her drawings have people with hair and stretch marks and stains on their underwear and shocker, they’re not all the same color skin as her or as mine. So when I asked her to illustrate and we created the illustrations together, I said, “Don’t put in one token Black vulva.” I said, “There needs to be as many of different skin tones as the people who will read this.” Because people need to see themselves in a book and understand that I’m not just talking to people who look like me. And I hope that we achieve that. And I hope that that’s another way that we can break down that shame because it’s the token pre-pubescent white vulva that’s out there in porn. And I hate it because hardly any really look that way.

And so I just wanted to fight back in all of that. And I will say it’s interesting to me, because I’ve noticed even with press of this book, I was doing a news segment of my local news and the newscaster, and I don’t think she meant any harm by this. She was like, “Yeah, there’s a lot of stuff. We can’t say vagina on morning TV.” And I said, “Oh, we can say vagina.” And I said it many times because we need to break down that stigma that we can’t say vagina on morning TV, weekend. It’s a body part. That’s all it is. So I’m just hoping to move the needle that way.

Rebecca Dekker:

And what you mentioned, shame and stigma, can you talk a little bit more about that? Because I know you’re really in touch with, especially Gen Z on TikTok, what is the shame that… Do you feel like current people who are coming into their late teens and early 20’s, do they have the same kind of shame about their bodies as those who are older do or what kind of trends are you seeing about stigma?

Dr. Jennifer Lincoln:

Yeah, so it’s really interesting. I am very hopeful, Rebecca, because I feel like Gen Z is a generation that is more open than any of us have ever been, right? When it comes to either sexuality or race or body image, so many things, I feel like they are the most open-minded. So I have hope and I do feel that with the things like TikTok and social media, where we are getting these things out there, I am seeing people who are like, “Yeah, I don’t care, whatever. I have my period. And I told my teacher and he said I had to wait. And I said, no, I’ve got period blood on me. I’m going to the bathroom.” I’m like, “Good for you.”

But I am concerned that that could be regional. That that is maybe not the majority everywhere. And so I think that as much as I’d like to think that we’ve moved on from those terrible Lysol douche commercials of the 1950’s. Yeah, we still have Vagasil and Summer’s Eve, just in different packaging, and they’re still targeting the young audience. Vagasil has that OMV brand that they’re trying to specifically target teenagers. So, these companies haven’t given up, they just want to make money.

Rebecca Dekker:

So there’s still a huge industry, surrounded, cleaning and douching products for the vagina?

Dr. Jennifer Lincoln:

Yeah.

Rebecca Dekker:

And you walk in any store and you said, and they’re specifically targeting teens.

Dr. Jennifer Lincoln:

Yep. Totally. Look at their packaging, look at the commercials. If I wanted to be super rich, I would just go ahead and make vaginal washes and it would be awesome except I would have sold my soul to the devil, but yeah, they’re still out there and they are so smart. They know how to make their accounts look a certain way. They are specifically targeting, especially Vagasil, but about maybe a year ago, a few of us really called out Vagasil and we got them to stop posting on their Twitter account, which felt like a win and their Instagram account, their OMV version of that. But they’re still out there.

So until these… I wish these products were, I just wish they were taken off the shelf because they’re harmful. They don’t help. They make things worse. Like you said, Mystique, you add a gajillion things and they come into the office and we’re like, Well, what’s the? It’s peeling the onion back now.” They’re harmful, and psychologically, they’re so damaging.

Rebecca Dekker:

And you have in your book, you have a section about the 10 commandments of, what was it? Thou shall not put these things in your vagina. It was all the different cleaners?

Dr. Jennifer Lincoln:

I was still channeling my Catholic school days. You can see, I had to like, can’t get a away from it completely. But yeah, my commandments, do not put anything in that has fragrance. Yeah. So much. But we are in a society where we’re told to do more, do more, do more, consume. And this is just another aspect of it.

Iya Mystique Faodugun:

Well, I’m not Catholic, but my mother definitely is, she’s Catholic to the bone. She really is.

Dr. Jennifer Lincoln:

Capital C.

Iya Mystique Faodugun:

She married a Baptist and she she still to this day she will go to any kind of… She’s Catholic to the heart. And when you discuss, it has that shame, she had to break that shame to say, “Okay, this is what I’m learning myself. And I’m going to pass it down to you.” Luckily she did that for me early on as a teenager and I had that, thankfully, I had that open discussion with her, that open relationship and growing up, I would hear the, “Wait. You tell your mom about that?” And I’m like, “Yeah. And I talked to my father about that.” They’re like, “Wait, what? He’s a man.” I’m like, “Yeah.”

And he grew up Baptist and he had to break down all and dismantle all the things that he learned and relearned to make sure he was like, “I have a daughter and I’m not going to be that, “I’m a man. I don’t want to learn about that. I don’t need to learn about that. That’s not my business.” And you know, thankfully, thank you mom, and my dad passed away, but thank you mommy for that because you it’s very empowering to be informed that way.

So I want you to tell, if you can, share with our listeners, what’s the best way for others to be informed and also feel empowered while they’re being informed with learning about sexual health and reproductive health?

Dr. Jennifer Lincoln:

Yeah. I think first of all, I think it’s great that your parents were as open as they were, because that’s the exception, not the norm. I hope it’s changing, but it makes a huge difference, right? You were able to grow up in such a different way than had you not had that support. So that’s great. And I think that, honestly, the best way to be informed is to not wait for your school to teach you. And you may not be able to wait for your parents to teach you because if they weren’t taught, it could be really hard for them to know how to teach you. And not because they can’t find the information out, but overcoming that shame? So many parents, they can’t even say the word “vagina” or “penis.” Can you imagine them saying orgasm or talking about those things with their kids? It’s not going to happen.

So if you were not informed or educated when you were younger, it’s never too late. I think it’s about finding reliable information and good sources. And one of the best things I can say is to partner with a healthcare provider that you trust. My favorite visits when I was in the office would be people who would come in and they’d be there for their annual exam. And they’d say, we’d talk about sex, and they’re like, “I don’t know. I don’t even know what’s going on down there.” And we’d have our mirror and I’d say, “Let’s look. Let’s take a look. Here’s your clitoris. Here’s what this is.” “Is this normal?” “Of course it is, yeah. And let me show you some other pictures of what vulva’s look like. And here’s some information.”

And I love that and it was so fun because they left the office, you could see them two feet taller, just so much more confident. Unfortunately, I know not everybody has that kind of relationship with their healthcare provider. So we are in a, just like I said, there’s so much misinformation on social media. There’s some really awesome stuff. So resources like the Labia Library, which I just love that website, because you can go and see actual photos of what labia look like, the Vulva Gallery and the person who runs the Vulva Gallery on Instagram, I think they just released a book too, and that’s just kind of talking about anatomy, but reading books, podcasts like this, podcasts that can inform you how birth works, how your body works.

You really can take it into your own hands, but do understand that not everything is created equal. And if you’re not sure, some pretty easy ways to figure out if something is misinformation versus good information, if somebody is trained and credentialed and has the expertise, assessing that, assessing if they’re trying to sell you a product, like we’re talking about my book here, but I don’t care if you go and buy it, get it from the library. I really don’t care. You know? And what’s their ulterior motive, why are they doing this? And you can find some really good information.

And as for empowering, that’s a hard one to work on when you’ve been brought up in a culture of shame, but you can chip away at it. Little things. I know that again, we spend 142 minutes a day as Americans in front of our screen on social media. But some empowering people, people that you look up to in front on that, so follow people who have this message. Overtime when you see that language repeatedly, you realize that vagina, isn’t a dirty word and you start to change the narrative and you get to rewire those neurons in your brain. And before you know it you’re going to be like me and you’re going to have pictures of vulva’s hanging up in your house. Maybe not quite that far, but.

Rebecca Dekker:

Some of our birth workers do, but yeah.

Dr. Jennifer Lincoln:

Exactly.

Rebecca Dekker:

And it can be life-saving to remove the shame and stigma because how many people have delayed getting care because they’re ashamed? There’s a very sad, personal story in my family of one of our family members who had a mole on her vulva and it was melanoma and she was so ashamed or afraid to go to the doctor to have somebody look at that, that she ended up being in a very advanced stage of cancer by the time it was caught. And it just made me think about all the messages that are sent to young people about that part of your body being dirty or shameful or disgusting or whatever, and it’s dangerous to send that message.

Dr. Jennifer Lincoln:

Absolutely. And when we don’t talk about it in schools, I think in my head, it’s like the censored, like the blurred, you know that? And that’s what people see, “I’m not supposed to look down there because we don’t talk about it in school. So I shouldn’t right?” And I’ve seen a lot of people, and I’m sure you’ve talked to people who in birth, they didn’t know how many holes they had down there. They didn’t know what things were supposed to look like because they’d never been taught. They had no idea. They never looked because they were too afraid because they were shamed. And that’s a tragic example, but one that I’ve heard before or somebody who’s had cervical cancer because they’re too ashamed to go in for their pap smears. So many stories like that. It’s not uncommon, sadly.

Rebecca Dekker:

Thank you so much, Dr. Lincoln, for coming on the podcast today. I know that people can follow you on Dr. Jennifer Lincoln on TikTok. Do you have any other projects or resources you’d like to share with our listeners?

Dr. Jennifer Lincoln:

Yeah. So you can follow me on TikTok and Instagram, the same handles. I’m very excited that my YouTube channel is finally starting to get… We’re getting some more robust content there. And so that you can just put in Dr. Jennifer Lincoln and YouTube. And I enjoy that because it’s a bit more long-form. I can explain things in more than one minute on TikTok. And I always just like you, I just love your website, but it’s all about references and resources. Because if you don’t have that, if you can’t independently verify this information, then you know, it’s just as good as the person who says it. And I’m sure like you do, you encourage people to go and look at these things themselves, it’s a lot of fun.

Thank you all for what you’re doing in the birth work atmosphere, because it’s so important.

Rebecca Dekker:

All right, everyone. Thank you so much for listening today to Dr. Jennifer Lincoln talk about reproductive health. Again, you can find her book, “Let’s Talk About Down There” anywhere books are sold. I have a copy. I love it. I can’t wait to share it with my teen. So thank you so much, Dr. Lincoln. And if our listeners are enjoying this content, feel free to leave a review for the podcast. We’d love to see your feedback. Thanks, everyone. Bye.

 

Listening to this podcast is an Australian College of Midwives CPD Recognised Activity.

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