Culture

Dr. Tosha Rogers Encourages Women to Speak Up on Sexual Health Issues and Concerns

Wed., Jun. 6, 2012 7:44 AM EST
by Yvette Caslin

Do you and your va-jay-jay have a good rapport? Does she ever tell you when she’s feeling happy, neglected or abused? On a recent episode of VH1’s scripted comedic drama series “Single Ladies,” after a gynecological exam, April’s doctor/love interest told her that she had the best looking vajayjay he’d ever seen. April shared this declaration with her girlfriends, Val and Raquel, who became curious and asked to take a peek (to verify). She happily obliged.

Now that begs the question, do you keep your kitty fresh and well groomed to the point that if some emergency came up that you’re free of shame if she’s exposed? If your vajayjay could talk, would she have nothing but nice things to say about how she’s treated? If the answer is “no” to either point, then your vajayjay may be talking to you and you’re not listening. Dr. Tosha Rogers, a leading OB-GYN in Atlanta wants you to listen to your vajayjay. She’s launched a health campaign titled ‘Is Your Vagina Talking to You?’  to increase health awareness among women of color.

The Body Talk campaign’s mission is “to invoke a dialogue among young minority women in an effort to promote education regarding sexual health, early detection for various illnesses, and encourage women to visit their OB/GYN on a regular basis,” shares Dr. Tosha. She believes there is no reason for women to be ashamed or embarrassed to discuss their bodies with their personal physician. Statistically, African-American women have the highest rates of HIV, STDs, and other illnesses and Dr. Tosha earnestly believes that the statistics can be reversed with education. Here, Dr. Tosha shares how women can be healthy.

Why do you feel compelled to execute this campaign?

Women are uncomfortable talking. I have to literally pull the information out of them. I have come to realize that there’s an entire population of women who need help and are afraid to say something and share what their true concern is. If you can’t tell someone what the problem is, they can’t help you. It’s very important to get the proper information out to help people protect themselves.

If this were my first visit to your office, what are 5 things I should ask you?

Ask about me, how long I have been practicing medicine and what are my specialties. How regularly should a woman be checked … pap smears, STDs and blood? What are the warning signs for STDs? What type of discharge should cause concern? When is it bad to bleed? You should also ask how to clean yourself. There is a particular way, as a female, that you are supposed to clean yourself … 80 percent of women don’t know that.

What does the program offer?

I want women to be comfortable asking all types of questions. It will be like sitting around having girlfriend talk and you will receive accurate information.

What’s a common issue among women?

Hygiene, or lack thereof.

For those women who “don’t like the way condoms feel,” what is an alternative method to protect themselves from STDs?

Theoretically, if you are uncomfortable with the way the condom feels, there is a lubrication issue. We may need to consider other ways to increase lubrication, artificially or organically. In other cases, women may have a latex allergy that they aren’t aware of. There are other types of latex-free condoms that can be used with precautions.

Join Dr. Tosha and special-invited guests for Body Talk on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 from 7 to 10 p.m. at barONE for a free roundtable discussion in collaboration with V-103FM. For a very long time, women of color have treated sexual health and wellness as taboo topics. Body Talk seeks to dispel all myths and banish feelings of embarrassment and shame faced by young women when it comes to discussing their bodies. barONE is located at 687 Memorial Drive SE  Grant Park, GA 30316.  

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