Michelle Obama believes it is important to have conversations about women's health and said she was lucky that her mother Marian Shields Robinson was open to having these talks when she was growing up.

Dr. Sharon Malone, a practicing OB-GYN and a longtime friend of Michelle Obama, was the guest on the latest episode of "The Michelle Obama podcast" on Wednesday. During the episode, the former first lady said the willingness to have conversations about women's health, including talking about sex education with kids and confiding in others about menopausal symptoms, is crucial.

"Our comfort level with our sexual health is directly tied to our physical, overall well being," the 56-year-old said to Dr. Sharon Malone. The bestselling author added that she wants her two daughters, Malia and Sasha Obama, "to grow up seeking out information about themselves, because sexuality ties to other things around health."

"Mammograms, pap smears, all of that is like — if you can't touch your breast because you feel like you can't, you'll never discover a lump earlier. If you're not getting regular pap smears, you're probably not going to the doctor at all, right?" the mother-of-two said.

Excited to share the next #MichelleObamaPodcast episode! My friend @MichelleObama and I sat down to get deep about our relationship with our bodies, and how to take care of ourselves as women, body and soul.

I hope you'll give it a listen on @Spotify: https://t.co/XLpOGDDhlw https://t.co/a1cg0QsPtw

— Sharon Malone (@smalonemd) August 12, 2020

Michelle noted that while her mother was open to having these conversations, that wasn't always the case for other women of her generation or previous generations. She said she followed into the footsteps of her mother when she had her own daughters, and she always wanted them to "feel comfortable with their bodies" and to feel "comfortable asking questions" about their own health growing up.

"In order to do that, you can't have anything that's off limits. Especially when kids are young, the minute they see you clenching up about something, they notice that and they will never ask it again, or they'll never ask you and instead they'll go and talk amongst themselves," the "Becoming" author noted.

Dr. Malone agreed and said people "need to normalise the conversation."

Michelle also shared her experience of having a hot flash, a menopausal symptom that causes a sudden feeling of feverish heat, prior to a public engagement she was attending as the first lady of the United States. Michelle said that it happened when she was on Marine One before an event with her husband, then-president Barack Obama.

"It was like somebody put a furnace in my core and turned it on high. And then everything started melting. And I thought, 'Well this is crazy, I can't, I can't, I can't do this,'" she recalled.

President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama (C, R), first lady Michelle Obama (L) and daughters Sasha (C,L) and Malia (R) at a Christmas celebration in 2014 Getty

"What a woman's body is taking her through is important information. It's an important thing to take up space in a society, because half of us are going through this but we're living like it's not happening," Michelle said.