Undoubtedly, your teen’s first gynecology visit can be a daunting and anxiety-provoking experience. Nonetheless, it is a critical aspect of adolescent development and a significant stride towards taking charge of their reproductive well-being. As a parent, you can facilitate your teen’s readiness for their first gynecological visit by educating yourself on its significance.
Your Teen’s First Gynecology Visit
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends teens start seeing an OB/GYN between the ages of 13 and 15. In most cases, your teen’s first gynecology visit will be a conversation with your doctor about staying healthy and what to expect for future visits. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we have put together a list of 5 tips for your teen’s first gynecology appointment.
1. Start The Conversation Sooner Rather Than Later
The birds and the bees. A talk you must inevitably have with your children as they grow up and their bodies develop. The American Academy of Pediatrics endorses comprehensive sexuality education that includes both abstinence promotion and accurate information about contraception, human sexuality, and STIs. Although it can be uncomfortable, starting this conversation sooner rather than later can help provide them with accurate information, guidance, and support that can shape their understanding and decisions about their sexual health.
2. Help Her Understand What To Expect
One of the best ways to ease a teenager’s mind when it comes to their first gynecology visit is to help them understand what to expect. In most cases, your daughter’s first gynecology visit will be a physical exam, which includes height, weight, and blood pressure. Other than that, the appointment usually remains more conversational. According to ACOG, a teenager will learn what to expect at future visits and get information about how to stay healthy. This is also a time for your teen to ask questions about their body, growing up, and sex.
3. Assist In Coming Up With A List Of Questions
Teenagers are full of questions as they learn more about themselves and the world around them. It’s very common for them to also have questions about their developing bodies. Some questions that may be beneficial for your teen during their first gynecology visit include topics such as birth control, contraception, hygiene, their menstrual cycle, healthy lifestyle tips, and managing PMS.
4. Talk About Privacy
We get it— talking about becoming a woman can feel like a very intimate subject. Not to mention the nerves that come along with your teen’s first gynecology visit. One important factor that can help to ease their mind is the subject of privacy. Relay to your teen that doctors have to follow rules that keep their health records private, and what they tell their doctor is considered sensitive information that is not to be shared. During this time, it is important to respect boundaries. However, make sure they know that your support is always available when they’re ready to open up.
5. Maintain An Open Dialogue
Navigating the complexities of a growing and developing teenager can be nothing short of a rollercoaster. As hormones surge and bodies transform, it becomes increasingly important to maintain an open dialogue with your teen. Creating a safe space for discussion allows them to have a comfortable environment when it comes to topics such as bodily changes, sexuality, and personal hygiene. Especially for young teenagers, during their first gynecology visit, birth control is often a topic of discussion. Although this can be scary to hear as a parent, it is essential that you maintain a trusting relationship.
At Raleigh OB/GYN, we believe that patient education is an invaluable tool. For that reason, our doctors and staff are committed to providing patient care in a nurturing, supportive environment. We want to ensure you understand everything about your body as a woman and have the resources to get all your questions answered. If you have any questions about your teen’s first gynecology visit, visit our website or give us a call at (919) 876-8225.