As a parent, there are many aspect of your child's life that you have planned for and her first visit with an ob/gyn is no different. It will be helpful to note that The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that young women have their first gynecological visit between the ages of 13 and 15. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for young women in that age group to be nervous about what their first visit with a feminine health expert will include. Therefore, it is a good idea to not just understand current recommendations about gynecological health for teenagers, but to also know what she should expect at this first important visit.
#1-The First Gynecological Appointment Does Not Always Include A Pap Smear
One of the biggest concerns for women of all ages is the actual pap smear. Although medically necessary in some cases, it is not always required until the age of 21, unless there is a problem or the need for birth control exists. Instead, her first visit with her OB/GYN will typically include an eternal examination of her genitals and the opportunity for information sharing.
#2-Her First Visit With An OB/GYN May Include A More Intimate Exam Under Some Circumstances
Your daughter should expect an intimate exam, including a PAP smear, prior to her 21st birthday if she:
Is or has been sexually active
Has unusual bleeding
Irregular menstrual cycles, more than two years after her first period
Other reproductive health issues or concerns, including pregnancy and birth control
#3-She Can Determine If She Wants A Parent With Her For Any Part Of Her Visit
You have probably been in the office with your daughter for most, if not all, of her medical appointments. Therefore, it may be a little surprising to learn that your daughter and her physician will often have this visit without you. However, doing so provides your daughter with the privacy she is likely to need to discuss any personal concerns that she has about her own development or questions about her reproductive health.
If you have questions or concerns about your daughter's gynecological issues, you can ask to see her physician at the end of the appointment. However, you should remember that the OB/GYN may still be limited as to what she can discuss with you about your daughter's health, due to confidentiality concerns of the state in which you live.
In conclusion, your daughter's first appointment with a gynecologist will often establish the way she feels about similar appointments for the rest of her life. Therefore, it is important for her to be as comfortable as possible at her first appointment. An important part of that will involve providing her with reasonable expectations as to what she should expect at her first of many gynecological exams. Contact a local doctor, like Florham Park OB/GYN Dr. Donald Chervenak MD, for more information.