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When Should My Adolescent Have Her First Gynecological Visit?

When Should My Adolescent Have Her First Gynecological Visit?

Taking care of reproductive health is important for women at all stages of life, and getting a good foundation at an early age is key. If you have a teenage daughter, you may want to consider scheduling her first gynecology appointment.

At Southern Crescent Women’s HealthCare in Fayetteville, Newnan, and Stockbridge, Georgia, our team of compassionate providers knows the importance of comprehensive gynecological care. That’s why we provide gynecological services for women at all stages, from adolescence to post-menopause.

Find out more about adolescent gynecology and when it’s the right time for your daughter to have her first visit.

About teen gynecology

The idea of visiting a gynecologist can be uncomfortable or embarrassing for many young girls. Teen gynecology provides a space for your daughter to learn the importance of gynecological care. Our providers share accurate information and confidential answers to any questions she may have about her changing body, sex and sexuality, and more. 

Most of the time, adolescents do not need an internal pelvic exam. This takes away some of the anxiety of seeing a gynecologist and allows young and teenage girls to feel comfortable asking questions to their provider. 

When adolescents should have a gynecological visit 

Many people don’t know that adolescent girls can have their first gynecological visit between ages 13-15, as recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The first visit establishes care and begins the relationship between patient and provider.

The importance of teen gynecology

There are many reasons that teen gynecology is important for young girls. Teenagers might not be comfortable asking their parents or other adults about birth control, puberty, and sex, and may rely on other adolescents or the internet for information that can be inaccurate, irrelevant, or simply not true. Teen gynecology provides teens with safe and reliable information about these important topics. 

Establishing the importance of regular gynecological care is another key part of teen gynecology. Starting regular gynecological visits also takes the fear away from seeing a gynecologist once your teen has had a good experience at Southern Crescent Women’s HealthCare. Your daughter’s provider helps her through a difficult time of change and helps her navigate her health. 

What to expect at a teen gynecological visit

At Southern Crescent Women’s HealthCare, a teen’s first visit is to build a relationship with her provider and get answers to any questions she may have. A general health exam is also conducted. For example, her vital signs, height, and weight are recorded. 

Your daughter’s provider also takes time to discuss issues pertinent to her overall and reproductive health. Some topics we may discuss include:

The menstrual cycle and irregular periods

Adolescent girls often have irregular periods for the first two years of menstruation. At your daughter’s first visit, we explain the causes of irregular periods as well as provide information about signs to look out for regarding problems with the menstrual cycle. If a teen has extremely painful periods that impact her ability to continue her normal daily routine or a very heavy blood flow, we discuss causes and treatments. 

Puberty and hormonal changes 

Puberty is tough, and openly asking questions about the hormonal changes their bodies are going through can be difficult for teenagers. We discuss what to expect and what is not normal, so she can be aware of what may come and when to seek treatment. 

Sexual activity and birth control

More than half of US teens have sexual intercourse by age 18. So, it’s important to ensure your daughter has the facts and understands how to care for her body by discussing sex and birth control in a safe and trustworthy environment. 

At her visit, we discuss sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. We also cover the dangers of unprotected sex and answer any questions she may have. 

General health

General health topics are also part of your teen’s gynecological care. Topics may include mood and depression, diet and exercise, drug and alcohol use, and sexuality. 

When to get a Pap smear

Usually, teens don’t need to have a Pap smear until they’re in their 20s. The recommended age for a first pelvic exam is 21, regardless of sexual activity. However, there are some cases when your provider may decide to conduct a Pap smear or pelvic exam before age 21. Here are some reasons: 

If you’d like to learn more about teen gynecology or if it’s time to schedule your daughter’s visit, call 770-991-2200 or book an appointment online with Southern Crescent Women’s HealthCare today.

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