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When Should a Teen Start Seeing a Gynecologist?

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10th Jan 2023

That’s why mothers are not in a hurry to bring their daughters to the gynecologist and start this serious commitment. However, no matter how much you want your child to stay little, they grow up so fast, and teaching them about proper reproductive health is your obligation as a parent. If your teen has reached a certain age, you might be considering finding a good female health provider for her. Here’s when teens should start seeing a gynecologist and a few things they can expect during their first visit: 

Reasons to schedule the first visit

The first gynecological visit is a big decision to make for the parents and the kids. If you’re thinking it’s time your daughter should see a gynecologist, it’s still painful to consider her growing up and becoming a true woman. But when you notice her body changing, it’s time to make this step. Also, if she’s complaining about painful menstrual cycles, the gynecologist can help figure out what’s up. Of course, becoming sexually active and showing interest in sex is another reason to schedule the visit, where your daughter will get to find out all about protection, pregnancy prevention, and STDs from educated professionals. 

The first gyno visit

Most doctors recommend that girls have their first gynecology checkup between 13 and 15 years of age. This is the time when most girls start puberty, so it’s a perfect opportunity to check whether everything is fine. After the first appointment, it’s necessary to see the doctor at least once a year, even if everything is in perfect condition. Most of the reproductive system in women is hidden in the body, so it’s hard to tell what’s happening inside with a professional using ultrasound and performing the pelvic exam. Through regular exams, doctors can catch issues early on and eliminate them quickly and painlessly with treatment, medication or lifestyle advice. 

It’s important to mention that most girls don’t need a pelvic exam until they turn 21, which is something that makes most first-time patients feel at ease. However, if the doctor notices something unusual during the genital exam or the patient experiences heavy bleeding, missed periods, extreme vaginal itching, or unusual discharge. Also, if there’s a history of gynecological problems in the family, a pelvic exam might be necessary, even during the first visit.

All in all, your chosen gynecologist for teens can offer all the answers and work together with teen patients and their parents to make every visit as smooth and stress-free as possible. That’s why it’s crucial to do your research and choose the right health provider. 

What to expect?

To feel the most at ease during the first appointment, it helps to know what kind of exams and questions you can expect. In most cases, the staff will give you a questionnaire to fill out. This document mostly includes general questions, such as: the date of your last period, health conditions (asthma, diabetes, heart conditions, etc.), medication you take, allergies, lifestyle habits, family health history, sexual activity questions, pregnancy questions, birth control questions, etc. It’s important to know that all of the information you provide to your doctor is 100% confidential, so you can be honest with everything. 

The checkup

After the questionnaire is filled out, you will go to the exam room, where you will be weighed. Expect to have your blood pressure taken as well. Then comes a quick visual checkup by your doctor. This part requires you to take off your clothes, but you will be provided with a gown and privacy. Your doctor will check your breasts, establish normal growth, and take a quick look at your external reproductive organs (vaginal opening, labia, anus, etc.)

In most cases, this is it, but if your doctor estimates you need a pelvic exam, don’t worry—it’s much less painful and scary than you might think. Usually, girls only feel slight pressure or discomfort, which gets better as they relax. The exam is brief and lasts only a few minutes, and if you breathe deeply, it should all go well. Feel free to ask your doctor anything you feel scared about and demand them to stop whenever you feel too uncomfortable. 

The first gynecological visit is a big step towards womanhood and it’s crucial for it to go well in order to develop a healthy relationship with your doctor, your body and your sexuality. Good luck!