When should a girl first begin seeing a gynecologist?
As young girls grow into teens, it is important that they receive appropriate medical care.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) now recommends that this includes a visit to the gynecologist as early as age 13-15. Most adolescents do not need a pelvic examination at this time.
The idea of seeing a gynecologist can make both parents and teens feel nervous, embarrassed or even scared. Understanding what to expect may help to alleviate some of these concerns.
The first gynecological visit has three main purposes:
- Information. Teens will be offered the opportunity to obtain accurate and confidential information about many topics, including those listed below.
- Prevention. Teens will have the chance to learn about how to prevent pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and living a healthy lifestyle.
- Treatment. For those teens with concerns regarding missed or painful periods, or other gynecologic issues, we can discuss and offer treatment options.
We believe that developing a trusting relationship with a gynecologist early in life can prove to be beneficial for future reproductive health. We want women of all ages to know they have a place to turn for information and care related to all of her gynecologic needs.
The following topics may be covered at the first GYN visit:
- Puberty and development
- Menstrual periods and common symptoms such as cramping
- Prevention of adolescent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), human papillomavirus (HPV), Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and herpes simplex
- Prevention of tobacco, alcohol, and drug use
- Date rape prevention
- Safety and injury prevention
- Healthy eating habits
- Anything else of concern
We have provided an informative video regarding teen health care below: