A Look at the History of Women's Sexual Health, as well as Where the Future is Headed

Photo courtesy of Rise Medical

March is Women's History Month, making it a great time to shed light on what was once a sensitive topic – women's sexual health. One look at where we once were and where we are today clarifies that we have come a long way, but aren't quite there yet. The sexual wellness experts at Rise Medical say the conversation around women’s sexual health still needs to evolve to a point where people are comfortable holding open conversations. 

"It's Women's History Month, so there's no better time to leave outdated notions about women's sexual health in the past," explains Kathleen Markel, co-founder of Rise Medical. "We've made brilliant progress in business, politics, and social issues- yet women still believe they have little control over changes in their body due to childbirth, age and hormones. Now is the time to become liberated from antiquated limitations on who we can be." 

While chastity belts were popularized in pop culture and may do an intriguing job of representing what sexual health was like for women during the Middle Ages, they have been long considered a myth. Still, women have been through a lot regarding their sexual health and wellness. Starting with biblical stories, where women were held to higher standards for having sex outside of marriage than men. But it doesn’t stop there. 

Here are a few interesting facts about women’s sexual health history: 

According to Time, Aristotle described the female body as the inverse of the male body, with the genitalia turned inside out. Women were defined as medically faulty or defective. 

Animal bile was once used therapeutically in China to treat a number of ailments. According to the World Journal of Gastroenterology Trusted Source, python bile was “employed externally to treat ulcers of the external female genitalia.”

According to The Washington Post, in the 19th century, opium was a widely popular and regularly prescribed pain killer. Many middle and upper class women would insert an opium and belladonna soaked tampon to stop their menstrual cramps as well as help relax the vaginal canal.  

In a 2019 study published in the Journal of Women’s Health, researchers shared the recent state of women's sexual health. They report that sexual health is a vital sign of overall health, yet there remains a social stigma around female sexuality in Western culture. This leads women to be embarrassed to discuss sexual health issues even with their healthcare providers.

"We know it's time to elevate the conversation and get people talking. Women want and deserve it,” adds Markel. “The time has come for this conversation to be de-stigmatized." 

In helping to turn the spotlight on sexual health and wellness, Rise Medical has been able to help countless people with issues and challenges.    

Rise Medical offers services covering male sexual rejuvenation, female rejuvenation, male and female hormone analysis, couples therapy, and more. As experts in the art and science of sexual wellness, the Rise Medical team is in tune with the latest science regarding sexual health issues. Rise Medical works with each patient to provide a customized plan to get them on the path to sexual wellness. 

Offering a full-circle approach, Rise Medical provides in-person appointments in Corona Del Mar, California, or virtual appointments for others around the country through its Tele-rise option, which allows people access to experts in the comfort of their own home. Rise works with individuals and couples to provide counseling and dating coaching to help with intimacy issues. To learn more about Rise Medical or book an appointment, visit the site:

Cher Murphy

Cher Murphy, owner of Cher Murphy PR, brings with her a wealth of experience in covering a variety of interesting fields. As an expert in public relations, she works with clients in some of the most popular sectors, including health and wellness, education, restaurants, travel, and entertainment. With a nose for news and a gift of professional presentation, she is able to deliver high quality, ent...(Read More)

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