The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists now recommend that a young woman’s first visit to the gynecologist take place between ages of 13 years and 15 years. We understand that a teen’s first visit to a gynecologist can make both the teen and her parents feel nervous, embarrassed, or even a little frightened.
Our physicians make every effort to make this first visit as comfortable as possible and many times no pelvic examination is even needed. Some of our physicians take special interest in providing teen gynecologic care so please feel free to call our office and we will help you make an appointment.
Commonly Asked Questions
One way to minimize any fears is to know what might happen at this visit. Below, please find some commonly asked questions regarding this first visit. Please also visit ACOG Especially for Teens website for more information.
The first visit will be spent talking with your doctor about any problems or concerns you might have. In addition, the doctor will ask a lot of questions about your health history and family history. If a parent accompanies you, most of the time your history will be taken with your parent in the room and then a private time will be requested with just you and the physician.
Most of the time, a pelvic exam is not required unless there are problems or concerns. Typically a general exam such as listening to heart and lungs and doing an abdominal exam is done. Pap smears are not indicated until age 21. If a teen is sexually active, then typically testing for sexually transmitted diseases is recommended.
Girls and young women ages nine through 26 are routinely recommended to receive the human papilloma virus (HPV) immunization for protection against cancers caused by HPV and genital warts. This is best given prior to the onset of sexual activity but can still be given after onset as well. Please visit http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/hpv/vac-faqs.htm for more information.
Many young women share the same concerns. These include:
- Cramps and problems with menstrual periods
- Sex and sexuality
- Birth control
- Sexually transmitted infection prevention
- Alcohol, drugs and smoking
- Emotional ups and downs
If you are in need of birth control for either pregnancy prevention or for menstrual control, many options exist:
- Barrier methods of contraception (i.e. condoms)
- Combination birth control pills
- Nexplanon-implantable birth control
- Intrauterine devices such as Skyla, Mirena or Paragard
- Progesterone-only pills
The American college of Obstetrics and Gynecology now recommend long term reversible birth control (such as IUDs or Nexplanon) as the first line contraceptive choice in sexually active teens.
Visit http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Birth-Control-Especially-for-Teens for more information.