Maintaining one’s health requires routine doctor appointments and diagnostic tests. It’s essential for women to understand the tests they need, when they should be performed, the doctors they should visit yearly, and the potential physiological changes that may occur as they age.
While every woman has unique needs, having open discussions with a healthcare professional can help them navigate their own health journeys, allowing them to predict changes they may face in the years to come and how they can improve their health care to better suit their needs.
If you have been wondering when to take your daughter to a women’s wellness physician or OB/GYN, here is everything you need to know.
The Initial Visit
Regardless of whether your daughter has started menstruation or is sexually active, it is best to take her to a gynecologist between the ages of 13 and 15, even though most patients won’t require Pap screening for cervical cancer until age 21. This visit is part of preventative care for your daughter.
Let young women realize that a pelvic exam isn’t always necessary during their initial appointment.
Girls should be aware that they have a doctor they can turn to for assistance with matters related to their reproductive health. You can always check with your primary care doctor if that seems more comfortable because they may also be able to provide this care.
What to Expect From the Initial Visit
When you schedule a visit with a gynecologist, the initial examination will probably involve a general physical examination, which includes taking your daughter’s height, weight, and blood pressure. The visit will probably be more talk than anything else, though the doctor might still conduct a brief external genital inspection.
Certain conditions may necessitate a pelvic examination, while internal exams are not frequently necessary. Inform your daughter that she will probably speak to the doctor alone for a portion of the visit and that this is an excellent opportunity to discuss more personal issues.
Personal Health and Hygiene Education
In addition to giving teenagers and preteens a chance to ask any questions they may have, the initial visit also provides the gynecologist with an opportunity to deliver crucial, age-appropriate patient information.
General subjects that may be discussed at the initial appointment include:
- Basic hygiene
- Comparison of typical and atypical vaginal discharge
Women’s Wellness Examinations and Evaluations
Depending on the specific requirements of the patient, the gynecologist may:
- Talk about the development of the body and emotions
- Study your daughter’s medical history
- Perform breast and/or pelvic exams
- Provide remedies that could be used to treat any symptoms or issues
Understanding the Menstrual Cycle
Most teenagers begin having periods between the ages of 10 and 15. They might already have periods or be curious about them at this age and have questions.
The menstrual cycle and what constitutes normal or abnormal can be explained to teens and preteens during a visit to a pediatric and adolescent gynecologist. This is a chance to get treated for:
- Irregular or heavy menstrual bleeding
- Menstrual cramps that hurt
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
Teenagers and preteens can receive the HPV vaccine at their gynecologist’s office. The human papillomavirus (HPV), linked to the development of more than six different cancers, can be prevented in adolescents by the HPV vaccine.
The HPV vaccine should be administered twice, the first time between the ages of 11 and 12 and the second time six months later, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The child will require three vaccination doses if they wait until age 15.
Talking about sex with parents, guardians, or other adults may be challenging for them. However, they need the chance to have these discussions with a person who can offer correct information. A pediatric and adolescent gynecologist can respond to inquiries and impart knowledge on subjects like:
- Sexually transmissible diseases
- Preventing pregnancy and using birth control
- Healthy and secure intimate connections
- Gender identity
- LGBTQ+ issues
- Sexual relations for the first time
Diagnosis and Treatment for Gynecologic Conditions
Establishing a doctor-patient connection puts teenagers and preteens in contact with a specialist prepared to give them the care they require for gynecologic issues or symptoms.
Pediatric and adolescent gynecologists have specialized training necessary to handle the complex medical requirements of kids, teens, and young people who have:
- Complex, persistent gynecological diseases
- Physical or mental impairments.
- Congenital gynecologic abnormalities
It’s time to switch your daughter to an OB/GYN if she is 13 to 15 years old. This specialist can deliver therapy and care that other doctors may not be able to provide.
Leverage the expertise of your gynecologist. They can offer your teen advice and instruction on safe sex and how to avoid getting pregnant and contracting STDs. Moreover, they can also help with concerns relating to missing periods or reproductive disorders.
Prioritize Your Well-being at Imperial Center Family Medicine
Young girls should learn about female health and how to care for their bodies. For years women will visit their gynecologist, so it’s critical to establish a connection now with a doctor with whom you feel at ease and confident.
At Imperial Center Family Medicine, we help our young female patients navigate their health journey and address all of their questions. We ensure your comfort while concentrating on safe, efficient preventive care. For all of your female healthcare needs, reach out to us for an appointment.