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    Take the Pledge – Make Your Health a Priority

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | May 8th, 2016

    Take the Pledge – Make Your Health a Priority

    My husband and I were on our 3 mile walk on Sunday morning and every woman he saw, he would wish them a Happy Mother’s Day.  I told him, he should not assume that every woman was a mother. He said, as far as he was concerned, if you were the appropriate age, you did not have to be a biological or an adoptive mother to be wished a Happy Mother’s Day. You could be a Godmother, a Daughter,  an Aunt, a Sister, a Cousin,  a Friend – what was important is that you were a woman who was a care- giver providing unconditional love to another person. That particular love could be expressed in so many ways. I guess that maybe one reason that Mother’s Day marks the first day of National Women’s Health Week every year.

    The goal of National Women’s Health Week is to empower women to make their health a priority. We have a tendency to do so much that we often neglect ourselves. We have to remember that if we are not in top shape, we are unable to help those that we love. There is a reason that when we fly, the flight attendants are quick to remind us that we should put our oxygen mask first.

    National Women’s Health week is an observance led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health.  On their website they offer the following advice for better health:

    On their website, they are encouraging every woman to take the following pledge:

    ‘I want to be the healthiest I can be! I pledge to take one step for a healthier life’

    Regardless of what age you are, you can take the pledge. This week, think about one thing you can do to get yourself a little healthier. It can be as simple as adding a glass of water to what you typically drink or using the salt shaker less.  You might decide to exercise an extra day or wake up fifteen minutes earlier than usual to meditate. You might consider scheduling your well woman visit regardless of how far out the appointments are – just schedule the appointment.

    I have a problem with vegetables. I love fruits but I hate raw vegetables. I plan to add some greens to my smoothie this week. What do you plan to do?


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    With her trademark wit and straightforward communication, Dr. Osuagwu continues to dole out valuable medical advice using the letter form and addressing women’s health conditions and issues in a method that was praised for its innovative approach in her earlier award-winning book, Letters to My Sisters: Plain Truths and Straightforward Advice from a Gynecologist. In this book, each letter is paired with reference sources and statistics about the condition that is the subject of the letter.

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    The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

    The second half of the book briefly discusses the most common gynecological conditions and also provides an overview of sexually transmitted infections. A list of annotated websites dealing with the different topics in the book is provided for the reader who wants to pursue each subject in depth.

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