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Making ready Your Teen for Her First Gynecologist Appointment


A quite common query that I get requested as an OB/GYN is, “when ought to my daughter begin seeing the gynecologist?” It’s a good query with a nuanced reply that deserves some clarification.

First, it’s necessary to debate and perceive the parts that may make up the completely different sorts of gynecological exams and why somebody would want a gynecologist. There are two foremost classes of gynecological visits. The primary is a well-woman examination and the second being a problem-based go to.

A well-woman examination is a yearly really useful examination that’s corresponding to the yearly really useful bodily at your major care physician’s workplace. It’s the place we take the chance to just be sure you are updated in your well being upkeep, which may embody assessments like pap smears, mammograms, colonoscopies, bone density scans, and different potential indicated assessments. The final advice is to start out pap smears at age 21, so we might advocate establishing care with an OB/GYN at the moment in case you have not already discovered one.

The opposite kind of go to that individuals have with their OB/GYN is a problem-based go to. This type of go to is for when individuals have gynecological points. This will embody issues like heavy or irregular durations, vaginal discharge or itching, pelvic ache, to call just a few.

So, when ought to a teen begin visits with a gynecologist?

Any time a affected person asks me this query, my reply is similar. I at all times say that a teen ought to begin seeing the gynecologist after they have a gynecological challenge, after they need to discuss contraception, or after they flip 21, whichever comes first. We frequently see youngsters to speak about contraception and secure intercourse practices. That is one in all my private favourite visits after I see it on my schedule. I didn’t really feel that I had nice steering on the makes use of and objective of contraception as a teen, and I want I had established care with a gynecologist to assist me kind by way of all of that. Moreover, many youngsters could have heavy or irregular durations. It will be completely applicable to speak concerning the administration of those points with a gynecologist.

What else will occur at that first go to?

Lots of my adolescent and teenage sufferers will come into my workplace very anxious. They usually consider that they will have a painful pelvic examination. I at all times make it one in all my first targets on the go to to clarify that I’ll solely carry out a pelvic examination on a affected person in the event that they want one. Except a teen is having vulvar or vaginal points, they often don’t want a pelvic examination.

Most conversations about contraception or menstrual cycles are simply that…conversations. As soon as we get by way of that a part of the dialog, I can usually really feel the nervousness within the room begin to lower.

A pelvic examination is critical for issues like pap smears or IUD placements, however that is at all times one thing that must be defined intimately if it will be carried out in order that the affected person understands what the examination is and why. More often than not, a gynecology go to with a teen is simply speaking and counseling in addition to a bodily examination consisting of issues like listening to the center and lungs and palpating the stomach.

How usually does a teen have to see a gynecologist?

In my observe, I’ll inform my teenage sufferers that if they’re doing effectively with out issues, I’d advocate coming to my workplace for a wellness/check-in go to yearly. That approach, we will overview any updates within the gynecological historical past which have occurred since their final go to and be sure that any contraception or medicines I could also be prescribing are nonetheless working and assembly our targets

One last item…

I believe that most likely an important factor when contemplating making an appointment with an OB/GYN for a teen is to search out a physician with whom you might be snug! It’s so necessary that teenage ladies really feel that their docs are individuals whom they can’t solely relate to, but in addition may be trustworthy and open to share info and are available to in the event that they need assistance. This will imply suggestions from pals, household, or the web, however positively don’t overlook this part of issues when seeking to discover a gynecologist for the youngsters in your life!

To seek out an OB/GYN that’s proper to your teenager, go to www.bjc.org/obgyn/gynecology.

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