The first gynecologic visit for a teenage girl can be a great source of anxiety. Knowing what to expect at the visit can help alleviate this anxiety. Here is some information about the first reproductive health visit.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends the first visit to the gynecologist be between the age of 13 and 15. A pelvic exam is not usually necessary at this visit. The primary focus is for you to become acquainted with your doctor, the nurses and office staff, and the physical office set up. This familiarity makes it more comfortable for you in the future when discussing more personal issues.
The doctor and her assistant will explain what will happen during the visit, including the order of how things will go and what will be discussed with parents or guardians. Usually the doctor will meet you with your parent or guardian first and then talk with you in private.
If you need to have a pelvic examination she will explain what will happen.
Your privacy is important to your doctor. She will keep your discussion with her private. It is important to understand that if she learns that you may be in danger of hurting yourself or someone else or if someone may be hurting you, she will have to share that information with your parent or guardian.
Every patient is different. Your doctor will spend most of the time talking with you and getting to know you and any questions or problems you may be having. She will help teach you about normal development and normal menstrual periods. She will review important safety topics, such as abstinence from sexual activity or use of contraceptives; avoiding smoking, alcohol, and drug use; and violence prevention also could be included.
Many teens may be thinking about having sex, so the doctor may talk to you about how to protect yourself if you decide to begin having sex. Be prepared with any questions you may have. Make a list.
A general physical exam, like your pediatrician or family doctor would perform, is usually done. This helps to assess your development. When examining private areas of the body, the doctor will only look on the outside and may have an assistant there to make you comfortable. You can also ask to have your mother or a friend present for support during the examination. When it is time to start having internal pelvic examinations, your doctor can choose special, smaller instruments to make the examination more comfortable. Your first Pap test should be performed when you are 21. A urine test can be used to test teens for STIs when there are no symptoms.
You will have the opportunity to learn about the HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccination.
You may find the information pamphlQ&Aets and websites provided here helpful with specific topics related to your gynecologic health. We recommend you fill and fax out the Adolescent Visit Questionnaire prior to your visit or bring it at the time of your visit. Your parents or guardians may want to fill out the Parent Questionnaire prior to your visit as well. Please allow 30 minutes for your visit and arrive 15 minutes earlier for registration purposes.