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    Your Teenage Body

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | December 10th, 2023

    Your Teenage Body

    Black Girl Rising, Inc. invited me to speak at Love Yourself Day. The day was filled with activities for young ladies aged 13 – 19. They had multiple speakers and offered several workshops. My talk was titled “Your Teenage Body”. How I wish I were exposed to this information when I was younger. With all the misinformation on the internet, getting information from a knowledgeable person is essential. I genuinely enjoy talking with young people. It is ensuring everyone gets accurate information, which has been my motivation for writing Letters to My Sisters, Plain Truth, and Straightforward Advice from a Gynecologist and Sincerely, Your Gynecologist.  

    Before I started my talk, I provided index cards for the teenagers to write their questions. They had many questions, which made me realize the importance of engaging our young people. We must make sure that we always keep the lines of communication open. We had a workbook where we labeled our reproductive organs (see above).

     I made sure the young ones left with the following information: 

    1. Loving yourself means loving all of you from head to toe.
    2. We need to know the names of the parts of the body that make up our reproductive system. This is how we take control of our bodies.
    3. The reproductive system consists of our internal and external organs. The system creates hormones and is responsible for fertility, menstruation, and sexual activity.
    4. Do not confuse the vagina with the vulva. You cannot see the vagina from the outside. You can only see the opening of the vagina when you look at the vulva.
    5. It is essential to wipe yourself from front to back. 
    6. Menstruation is normal. All women menstruate. You should never be ashamed of having a period. Your period should not stop you from your regular daily activity. If you are bleeding too much or your cramps are so bad you cannot go to school, then you must see a doctor.
    7. The first day of the menstrual cycle is when your period starts. A menstrual cycle is from the first day of one period to the first day of another period. The menstrual cycle is usually every 21 – 45 days, and the period usually lasts up to 7 days. It may take two years from the first time you have a period to be regular.
    8. Vaginal discharge is normal, and changes in consistency depend on where you are in your cycle.
    9. We have hormones that are secreted in our bodies that make us enjoy ourselves when we touch ourselves or when someone touches our vulva. No one must touch us without our permission, even if it may feel good.
    10. There is a purpose for hair on your vulva. If you must shave, keeping a strip of hair in the middle is essential.

    I ended my talk with the following:

    “Take your arms and wrap them around you. I want you to hug yourself tightly and know that a universe of people loves you. We love you. I love you. God loves you.”

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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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