Think back to when you were a teenager getting ready to go to your first gyn appointment. Did you feel nervous and scared? While those feelings are typical, your daughter doesn’t have to feel that way. Having a conversation before you take her to the gynecologist for the first time can help your teen feel more comfortable.
When to Schedule Her First Gyn Appointment
There isn’t a perfect age for your daughter to have her first gyn appointment, but The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends between the ages of 13 and 15. However, if your daughter has any issues or concerns, such as painful, irregular or abnormally heavy periods, you may want to bring her in sooner.
When choosing a women’s health provider for your daughter, you may want to involve her in the decision-making process. Here are some questions to ask her:
- Does she want a male or female provider?
- Does she want her provider to be a younger or older adult?
- Does she want to see the same provider you do or someone else?
What Happens During an Exam
When preparing your daughter for her first gyn appointment, it may help to walk her though what will happen. It may also be helpful for her to know that the first appointment typically consists of a lot of talking. Her provider will want to know about her health history, your health history and her period.
They will also most likely ask you to leave the room for a while so they can talk one-on-one with your daughter about things she may not feel comfortable talking about with you present, so be sure to mention this to your daughter so it’s not a surprise. However, you should let her know that if she prefers for you to stay in the room the entire time, that’s OK, and she should just let her provider know.
The Physical Exam
Even though it will typically only be a brief part of her visit, give your daughter a sense of what the physical exam will be like. The St. Elizabeth team generally performs three exams during a teen’s gynecologic appointment:
- A general physical exam. To get your daughter’s baseline health, measurements will be taken of her height, weight, blood pressure and heart rate.
- A breast exam. It’s important for your daughter’s provider to make sure she is developing and free of any lumps or other problems.
- An external pelvic examination. If the provider performs this exam, they will make sure there are no visible issues with the external genitalia.
If your daughter is worried that she’ll need an internal pelvic exam, you can reassure her that she most likely won’t need a Pap smear until she turns 21
Find a Provider Today
Find a women’s health specialist for your daughter at St. Elizabeth Physicians in Northern Kentucky and Southeastern Indiana.