A incredibly widespread query that I get asked as an OB/GYN is, “when should my daughter start seeing the gynecologist?” It is a excellent query with a nuanced answer that deserves some explanation.
First, it is crucial to go over and comprehend the elements that can make up the unique sorts of gynecological exams and why a person would will need a gynecologist. There are two key categories of gynecological visits. The very first is a properly-lady exam and the second getting a problem-primarily based take a look at.
A properly-lady exam is a yearly encouraged exam that is comparable to the yearly encouraged physical at your main care doctor’s workplace. It is exactly where we take the chance to make certain that you are up to date on your well being upkeep, which can incorporate tests like pap smears, mammograms, colonoscopies, bone density scans, and other feasible indicated tests. The basic recommendation is to get started pap smears at age 21, so we would advise establishing care with an OB/GYN at that time if you have not currently discovered one particular.
The other form of take a look at that individuals have with their OB/GYN is a problem-primarily based take a look at. This type of take a look at is for when individuals have gynecological troubles. This can incorporate points like heavy or irregular periods, vaginal discharge or itching, pelvic discomfort, to name a handful of.
So, when ought to a teenager get started visits with a gynecologist?
Any time a patient asks me this query, my answer is the very same. I usually say that a teenager ought to get started seeing the gynecologist when they have a gynecological concern, when they want to speak about contraception, or when they turn 21, whichever comes very first. We frequently see teenagers to speak about birth handle and protected sex practices. This is one particular of my individual favored visits when I see it on my schedule. I did not really feel that I had terrific guidance on the makes use of and goal of contraception as a teenager, and I want I had established care with a gynecologist to aid me sort by means of all of that. Additionally, a lot of teenagers will have heavy or abnormal periods. It would be completely suitable to speak about the management of these troubles with a gynecologist.
What else will come about at that very first take a look at?
Many of my adolescent and teen patients will come into my workplace incredibly anxious. They frequently think that they are going to have a painful pelvic exam. I usually make it one particular of my very first ambitions at the take a look at to clarify that I will only carry out a pelvic exam on a patient if they will need one particular. Unless a teenager is possessing vulvar or vaginal troubles, they usually do not will need a pelvic exam.
Most conversations about contraception or menstrual cycles are just that…conversations. Once we get by means of that element of the conversation, I can frequently really feel the anxiousness in the space get started to reduce.
A pelvic exam is vital for points like pap smears or IUD placements, but this is usually some thing that ought to be explained in detail if it is going to be performed so that the patient understands what the exam is and why. Most of the time, a gynecology take a look at with a teenager is just speaking and counseling as properly as a physical exam consisting of points like listening to the heart and lungs and palpating the abdomen.
How frequently does a teenager will need to see a gynecologist?
In my practice, I will inform my teenage patients that if they are undertaking properly with no issues, I would advise coming to my workplace for a wellness/verify-in take a look at yearly. That way, we can overview any updates in the gynecological history that have occurred due to the fact their final take a look at and make certain that any birth handle or medicines I could be prescribing are nevertheless working and meeting our ambitions
One final thing…
I assume that most likely the most crucial issue when taking into consideration producing an appointment with an OB/GYN for a teenager is to uncover a physician with whom you are comfy! It is so crucial that teenage girls really feel that their physicians are individuals whom they can not only relate to, but also can be sincere and open to share data and come to if they will need aid. This could imply suggestions from pals, household, or the world wide web, but absolutely do not overlook this element of points when searching to uncover a gynecologist for the teenagers in your life!
To uncover an OB/GYN that is correct for your teenager, take a look at www.bjc.org/obgyn/gynecology.