770.720.7733
VOTED Best OB/GYN * Best Surgeons * Top Docs * Mom-Approved OBs and Certified Nurse Midwives in Atlanta

Why Girls as Young as 13 Should Start Seeing a Gynecologist

Teen at First GYN Appt_84464424

Several physical and emotional changes happen to a girl during her during her teen years. Not only is her body changing physically, but hormone changes are at work as well. All of these changes can leave her wondering if what’s happening to her is normal. It can be a scary time for young girls so seeing a gynecologist early on is important.

READ TEEN GYN ARTICLES

And with menstruation starting at the average age of 12 years, 9 months, girls should have their first GYN visit between the ages of 13 and 15, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Not only can a GYN help put a teen’s mind at ease, he or she can also diagnose issues early on, preventing potentially serious issues from developing into something worse.

What Happens at a Teen’s First GYN Visit?

The first visit will be more of a discussion and letting the teen get comfortable talking with a doctor about issues she may not be used to discussing. It’s important to establish this comfort level as it can set the stage for a lifetime of talking about reproductive and sexual health.

There are many topics your gynecologist will want to talk about during the first visit.

Topics discussed may include:

  • Her menstrual cycle, and any problems she may be experiencing with it
  • If she is sexually active
  • Contraceptives
  • Sexually transmitted diseases, and measures to prevent them
  • Any questions or concerns she may have

Pelvic Exams and Pap Smears Are NOT Part of the First Visit

GYN visits are often associated with pelvic exams and Pap smears, which can be terrifying for a teen, so it’s important to know that the first visit will not include a pelvic exam unless absolutely necessary — and then, only if a teen consents. And since a Pap smear isn’t recommended for women until age 21, that will not be part of her visit either.

Why Seeing a GYN for Even ‘Common’ Symptoms is Important

With so many changes happening in a teen’s body, there are numerous gynecological problems she may experience. Some of the issues she has may be seen as common among young women, so they can be easily dismissed, even if they are downright debilitating.

Common Issues Include:

However, so-called ‘common’ problems can be indicative of something more serious, so these ‘common’ symptoms must be taken seriously, as they can be signs of a much more serious issue.

Serious Issues Include:

Discussing Her Sexual Activity

A teen’s sexual activity will also be discussed during her first GYN visit. While it can be uncomfortable to discuss, this is what GYNs are for and she should not be embarrassed to talk openly and candidly about her experiences and any questions or concerns she may have.

Teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are very serious problems, so it’s one of the most important topics of a first GYN visit.

While the teen pregnancy rate in America has declined in the last few years, it is still one of the highest in the developed world. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are on the rise at an alarming rate. In fact, the highest STI rates in the country are in young people between the ages of 15-24.

Many young people aren’t aware that oral sex can result in an STI, and that an STI (or infection) will often progress into an actual disease (STD). So, even if they have not had vaginal sex, they are at a high risk for developing an STI. And since oral sex typically starts at an even earlier age than vaginal sex, it’s important to discuss the ramifications.

Many people do not know that infertility or even death can occur as a result of an STD, so it is not to be taken lightly. A gynecologist can discuss the issues and educate a young woman on prevention, which can ultimately affect her entire life.

A Gynecologist is a Specialized Doctor for Females

A gynecologist is not just a doctor for women’s health, but for female health in general. That’s why it’s important to begin seeing a gynecologist early in life. Annual visits starting in her early teens can not only help put a teen’s mind at ease by getting all her questions answered by a health professional, but she can also be diagnosed early if she does have a serious condition, which may have otherwise been overlooked.

As a woman progresses through the different stages of life, her healthcare needs will change, and she will continue to see an OB/GYN throughout her lifetime. By beginning appointments as a teenager, she will not only learn how to maintain her health, but she can begin to build a relationship and get comfortable with an OB/GYN she can trust.

Schedule a First GYN Visit Today

Our board-certified gynecologists understand the importance of making teens feel at ease during their first visits, so you can be sure your teen will be as comfortable as possible. Schedule an appointment today by calling 770.720.7733 or simply request an appointment online.

Teen GYN Articles

teen-with-endometriosis_215073196

Endometriosis in Teen Girls

Endometriosis in teen girls can result in painful symptoms, and even infertility. Endometriosis is a common gynecological condition that affects ...
Loading...