A young Girls first visit to the OBGYN?
Over the years, many of my patients with daughters have asked me the same question, “When should my daughter have her first visit to the OBGYN?” I always tell them what the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends; Adolescent Gynecology should begin between the ages of 13-15. Many say and argue that it sounds too early but in reality it isn’t. Introducing a teen to their OBGYN at a young age is important because it will help develop a relationship with the gynecologist early. Having an early bond will help them feel comfortable when the teen needs to discuss difficult topics such as birth control and sexuality.
The first visit to the OBGYNMany believe the right time to take a daughter to the OB/GYN when they get their first period. The average age of a first period is 12 years old for Caucasian girls and 11 years old for African-American girls. Unless the teen is having problems with her periods, it is not necessarily to perform an examination or Pap smear on her first visit. The first meeting is merely a chance to talk about personal feminine health issues and answer any questions the teen may have, about things such as: hormonal imbalances, acne, drugs, alcohol, smoking, sexual transmitted diseases (STDs), diet, exercise and birth control. Starting with a gynecologist early teens can have the knowledge for making smart decisions in life.
What happens if a teen needs a check up?If needed, the doctor will perform a pelvic exam where the vagina is opened with a speculum and swab the cervix (the opening to your uterus). This is called a pap smear, which tests for cervical cancer. The doctor will also insert a gloved finger into the vagina to examine the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes for any abnormalities. The exam is simple and not painful, however it may be uncomfortable and definitely make the teen feel a bit embarrassed. Mothers should be supportive and remember how they felt their first OB/GYN appointment and how scary and nerve-racking it was to them. Moms can help make this experience easier by supporting their daughters. Knowledge is power; an early OB/GYN visit will give teens the tools and information to a healthier future. Remember gynecologists are there to help, educate and keep woman healthy, the earlier you start the more benefits you will see. If you or a young sibling have any questions about feminine health issues contact Dr. Beth Freedland at 561-961-5456 or make an appointment http://drbethfreedland.com/contact/
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