One of the most common questions asked by mothers of teenage daughters is “When should I bring my daughter in to see a gynecologist?” The first gynecologist visit should be between ages 13 and 15 for three main reasons.
1) Meet & Greet With Your New Doctor
This visit is to meet the doctor so your daughter feels comfortable talking to them about sensitive topics in the future. This is a relaxed visit to get to know each other and discuss normal development and expectations of future visits. It is also an opportunity to explain how the female body works and answer any questions.
2) Discuss Menstrual Cycle
Another reason to visit the gynecologist is if your daughter is having problems with her menstrual cycle. Sometimes menstrual cycles start off irregular with cramping, but if it interferes with daily activities, there may be something wrong. This means it is time to make an appointment. No one should have to suffer through menstrual cycles.
3) Explain Safe Sex
If your teen is considering or having sex, she should come in for a visit. The doctor will discuss different types of sexually transmitted infections and how to prevent them. They will also discuss ways to prevent pregnancy and how different infections impact your daughter’s reproductive health. Testing for sexually transmitted infections can also be done at this visit.
After their first visit, pap smears will become necessary, which is a screening for cervical cancer that begins at age 21. At these visits, there will be a full female exam. Overall health screenings are done at these visits as well.
Your daughter’s new doctor will try their best to decrease the anxiety of the visit as much as possible and will only perform an exam if necessary. An open and honest discussion between you, your daughter and the physician makes the visit go smoothly.