Why Your Child’s First Visit to the Gynecologist Should be at Age 13

Mom and Teen Daughter

Most parents are familiar with child timetables, like when they need to have an annual physical, because otherwise, their child won’t be able to play school sports. They also know when to start their kids on dental checks and eventually, orthodontia.

However, many parents are unaware that adolescent females should see a gynecologist between 13 and 15. This is because it’s easy to think a gynecologist visit is solely for adults. Yet these essential tests are also for young girls.

Annual Pap tests are recommended by the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology starting at age 21, regardless of sexual activity. But difficulties can arise far earlier, and it’s best to send your daughter to a gynecologist around the age menstruation begins.

What to Expect from a First Visit

A pelvic exam isn’t usually done on the first visit, and young girls should know this ahead of time to ease their minds. It is normal for preteens to be anxious or even afraid of wellness procedures like their first pelvic or breast exam.

First appointments are mostly conversational. They typically include introductions to the gynecologist and basic health counseling. The doctor may also conduct a brief routine physical exam, including height, weight and blood pressure measurements.

This is a terrific opportunity for your daughter to get to know her gynecologist and feel comfortable sharing sensitive information. We strive to make the experience enjoyable while educating our new young patients on the importance of routine health and preventive care.

Personal Health and Sex Education

Inquiring about periods, sex and birth control isn’t always easy for teenagers. Misinformation from friends or the internet is common. Discussing these issues with a medical practitioner ensures accurate and dependable information. Plus, these meetings are entirely private, allowing them to address concerns in a safe and supportive setting.

We also provide advice on STDs and pregnancy prevention during these appointments, and lifestyle recommendations to protect their overall health. They must have someone they can speak to about sex, so they make the right choices from the start.

HPV Vaccination

We can give your child the HPV vaccine. It protects against human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes over six types of cancer. The vaccine should be given twice, as early as 11 years old and six months afterward. If the adolescent waits until 15, they will require three doses.

Treatment for Gynecologic Conditions

Teenagers can have the same gynecological troubles as adult women, but they might be too shy to admit it. Moreover, it is imperative to schedule an annual checkup for your daughter if she has been sexually active (or plans to be) or has issues with her period.

Marietta OB/GYN Adolescent Care

If you need a friendly, experienced gynecologist to provide adolescent care, call Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates today.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Carlos Alarcon, Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A.