If you have a daughter, then you know that the time will come when she needs to see a gynecologist. This should be a time when you talk to your daughter about her overall health and her reproductive health. Although there isn’t an age set in stone as to when she should see a gynecologist, there are some adolescent gynecology recommendations that you can follow.
Most girls should see a gynecologist by the time they are 21 whether they are sexually active or not. Since most girls begin their menstrual cycle around the age of 12 or 13, you should keep those ages in mind when making an appointment with a gynecologist. Your daughter shouldn’t worry about the physical exam that a girl who is sexually active would have or a woman who is older would have. Most of the time, a gynecologist will only talk to your daughter when she’s younger and give her a general physical examination, similar to what she might expect from her primary care doctor. The gynecologist will talk to your daughter about her menstrual cycle and whether it’s started or not as well as any issues that she has with her overall health.
When your daughter visits a gynecologist at a young age, the doctor and nurses will check her weight, height, and perhaps draw blood to determine if there are any concerns. Sometimes, the gynecologist will perform an exterior exam of the genitals, but it be very simple and nothing like an older woman would experience. Each adolescent gynecology appointment will usually be more about talking instead of the actual exam.
There are circumstances when you want to make sure your daughter sees a gynecologist before the age or 21 and even before the age of 17 or 18. One is if her breasts have been developing for three years and she still hasn’t started her menstrual cycle. Another is if you know that your daughter is sexually active. You should also make an appointment at a younger age if your daughter has heavy menstrual flows or has an irregular cycle that begins to interfere with her daily activities. The gynecologist will likely talk to your daughter about vaccinations, especially the HPV vaccine. Keep in mind that each young girl is different, but the first visit to the gynecologist should be around the age of 13 or 14.
If you would like to learn more about adolescent gynecology and what an appointment would look like, feel free to visit South Lake Obstetrics & Gynecology in Clermont, FL. If you would like to schedule an appointment for your daughter, contact us today!