Most parents are well-versed in preventative healthcare for their children. They follow the recommended schedule for well visits and immunization and schedule the sports physical so their child can play soccer. They know when it’s time for dental cleanings, and inevitably when it’s time to consult an orthodontist. But, when it comes to raising girls, parents may not realize a first gynecologist visit should be scheduled between ages 13 and 15.
What to Expect
Most girls will not need a pelvic exam during the first visit. Many gynecologists will just do a regular health exam and talk to your daughter about her development. A regular health exam typically includes:
- Basic checks for vitals such as weight, heart rate and blood pressure
- Breast exam to detect lumps, cysts or breast problems
- External exam
- Pelvic (internal) exam, if needed
- STD testing, if sexually active
The provider will ask questions that can help determine which tests to run and what issues to discuss, such as:
- When was your last period?
- Are you having any problems with your period, such as pain or heavy bleeding?
- Have you noticed any unusual vaginal discharge or sores, itchiness or discomfort in the vaginal area?
- Are you, or have you ever been, sexually active?
- If so, are you using birth control or protection for sexually transmitted diseases?
- Do you think you could be pregnant?
These question may your daughter feel uncomfortable, but before the appointment discuss the importance of answering truthfully.
How to Prepare
Before your daughter’s first well-woman exam with a gynecologist, there are a few things you can do to help prepare and make her feel more comfortable.
For starters, before her first appointment, you may consider bringing her with you to one of your exams. This will help alleviate any nerves by letting her see firsthand what a well-woman visit entails.
If either of you doesn’t feel comfortable attending one of your appointments together, have a conversation about what to expect and why the doctor is doing it.
Here you can introduce to her gynecologist and prepare her for the first examination. Also mostly the first examination is just a simple regular health check and talk about the developments. Apart from that, if any case your daughter is sexually active, she should take her exams with the gynecologist. Even she is not; still, she needs to know about how to keep her healthy and protected.
Contact Raleigh OB/GYN Centre
The team at Raleigh OB/GYN includes six board-certified physicians–both male and female should you or your daughter have a preference for which she sees. Our practice believes that routine gynecological care is key to living a happy, healthy life. For this reason, we begin seeing patients in their adolescence and continue this relationship throughout their lifetime. To schedule an appointment for your daughter’s first gynecological exam, call (919) 876-8225.