If your daughter is nearing puberty, you might be questioning if it is time for her first gynecological exam. While previous generations often delayed this initial visit until they were sexually active or older than age 18, today the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recommends that girls see a gynecologist for the first time between the ages of 13 and 15. If your daughter is approaching this milestone, you may want answers to the biggest questions parents and teens have about this medical appointment.
Why is an Early OB/GYN Visit Important?
Your daughter’s first visit to our gynecologist serves three primary purposes: information, prevention and treatment. Seeing a specialist allows your child to get private, accurate answers to questions she has about puberty, menstruation, sex, sexuality and related topics. For girls of this age, it’s important for the gynecologist to provide education about preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, as well as general information about healthy living. If your daughter is experiencing any reproductive problems like painful periods, our gynecologist can determine the cause of these symptoms and explain treatment options. In addition, establishing a relationship with our specialist at an early age will help your daughter feel comfortable with the doctor as she grows.
What Can My Daughter Expect at the Appointment?
At this first visit, we will take a full medical history and ask your daughter questions about menstruation, sexual activity and other issues. Then, our gynecologist will conduct a physical along with a breast and external genital exam. A pelvic exam with Pap smear is not recommended until age 21, though it may be recommended by the doctor when teens are experiencing abnormal vaginal bleeding, painful periods, unusual vaginal secretions or related symptoms.
How Can I Help My Daughter Feel Less Nervous About the Appointment?
Most teens feel nervous before their first gynecologist visit. You can help ease your daughter’s mind by explaining the purpose of the appointment and what she can expect. It should also be your daughter’s choice if she wants you in the exam room or not. Regardless of her decision, private time with the doctor is important so that she can talk about health or sexuality issues she might not feel comfortable sharing with a parent.
Teens need not feel nervous visiting with our experienced gynecologist at South Lake OB/GYN in Clermont. During an appointment at our office, we take extra precautions to make the patient feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your daughter!