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    We Can Stop Misinformation

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | July 17th, 2022

    We Can Stop Misinformation

    I assume since information is at our fingertips, people will get the information necessary. I have been in practice for over 25 years, and sometimes I am surprised when I continue to hear things that I thought most people should know by now. Here is what I am still hearing:

    I do not need a primary care doctor if I have a gynecologistMy answer to this is “it depends.” If your gynecologist is the only doctor you see for your annual checkups, it is important to let them know. If they are your only doctor, they need to keep up with your immunization and all your screening test, which includes diabetic screening and cholesterol screening. I think every woman should have two health care providers taking care of their annual exams. With the Affordable Care Act, women can have two physicians taking care of them for the yearly checkups without cost-sharing – this includes the gynecologist and the primary care physician.

    Since I am only getting my pap smears every five years, I do not need to see a gynecologistThis is not true. A pap smear is a screening test for cervical cancer. It is one of many tests a gynecologist performs. Even though you get a pap smear every 3 – 5 years, you should still see your gynecologist yearly. There is so much more a gynecologist does other than a pap smear.

    I do not want to get a hysterectomy. I do not want to go into menopauseThis is not correct. A hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus only. The ovaries are what produce the hormones that prevent menopause. If your doctor offers a hysterectomy, they are not removing your ovaries. If your ovaries are not removed, you will not go into menopause until you are the age to become menopausal. Of note, if you have a hysterectomy, we are now removing the tubes. Removing the tubes decreases the chances of developing ovarian cancer, which is believed to start at the tubes.

    I can feel my blood pressure when it is high – High blood pressure is the silent killer meaning that in the early stages, it can be doing damage to your body, and you do not know it if your blood pressure is not well controlled. By the time you can feel your blood pressure high, it is probably too late, and the damage to your body is done. It is important if you have high blood pressure that you own a blood pressure monitor to check your blood pressure. It is important that you and your physician set goals for what your blood pressure should be and work towards those goals.

    I have discharge and itching; it has to be a yeast infection. This is not true. Although common yeast infection symptoms are discharge and itching, not all vaginal discharge with itching is a yeast infection. Sexually transmitted diseases can have similar symptoms. If you have decided to use an over-the-counter anti-yeast medication and still have symptoms, you may need to schedule an appointment with your health care provider to be checked for other causes of your symptoms.

    We can stop misinformation. If there are any misinformation items where you need further clarification, please do not hesitate to send an email to me at

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    Secure Your Copy of Sincerely, Your Gynecologist by Dr. Ngozi Osuagwu.

    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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    Secure Your Copy of Letters to My Sisters by Dr. Ngozi Osuagwu.

    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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