When Should My Adolescent Have Her First Gynecological Visit?

Sep 01, 2023
When Should My Adolescent Have Her First Gynecological Visit?
Adolescent gynecology is an important part of your daughter’s overall health and building a good reproductive health routine. Learn why adolescent gynecology is so important, and find out when your daughter should have her first visit.

Your daughter’s understanding of her reproductive health is an important step in building a comfortable relationship with her body. Adolescent gynecology visits are a good way for your daughter to obtain reliable information about sex and sexuality, her changing body, and more.

At Rural Health Corporation of Northeastern Pennsylvania in Nuremberg, Freeland, Falls, Hazleton, LaPorte, Wilkes Barre, Noxen, Shickshinny, and Edwardsville, Pennsylvania, our experienced providers offer adolescent services to help your daughter feel comfortable and empowered as her body changes and develops. 

Most adolescents don't need an internal pelvic exam, so there’s no reason for your daughter to feel nervous about her appointment. Plus, your child feels at ease with the trust built from the established relationship she has with her pediatric provider at our medical center.

Take a moment to read more about adolescent gynecology, and when your daughter should have her first visit.

The value of adolescent gynecology 

Gynecology is important for young girls for multiple reasons. As girls grow and start to experience puberty, as well as other changes in their personal and social lives, they often don’t feel comfortable talking to their parents about sensitive subjects. 

Rather than ask you about these sensitive topics, your daughter may turn to the internet or her friends for information on sex and sexuality, puberty, and birth control. This can cause her to find misleading or false information about important topics that affect her health. 

A visit to a gynecologist gives your daughter reliable and safe information about these topics, and is a great way to establish the importance of getting regular gynecological care. 

Having a good experience at Rural Health Corporation of Northeastern Pennsylvania during your daughter's teen years helps remove fear and anxiety about gynecological visits when she's older, too.

And, since your daughter has an already established relationship with her provider, there's more trust and less discomfort during an adolescent gynecological visit at our center. Her provider already understands her health history, which is helpful for addressing gynecological health as part of an overall view of her health. 

What to expect at an adolescent gynecology visit

Adolescent gynecology visits begin like most other health appointments. Your daughter's provider conducts a general health exam, taking weight, height, and vital sign measurements. Next, her provider discusses issues relevant to your daughter’s overall and reproductive health, such as:

General health

Your daughter’s provider makes sure to go over general health topics as a part of the gynecological visit. These topics may include diet and exercise, drugs and alcohol use, mood and depression, and sexuality. 

Puberty and hormonal changes 

Puberty may be a challenging time, and it’s not easy for many adolescents to ask questions openly about the hormonal changes their bodies are experiencing. 

Our goal is to have a discussion that is informative about what to expect during this time in her life, and help her understand the differences between normal changes and potential issues that might require medical attention. 

By having these informed conversations, she gets a better understanding of what to expect, and when it’s necessary to reach out for treatment.

The menstrual cycle and irregular periods

The first two years of menstruation are often characterized by irregular periods. At your daughter’s gynecological visit, we explain what causes irregular periods and also provide information about what to look for in terms of problems with the menstrual cycle. 

If your daughter is not able to continue with her daily routine because of extremely painful periods, or has a very heavy blood flow, we offer treatment options that can help her stay active and avoid missing school or sports practice. 

Sexual activity and birth control

More than half of teens in the United States have sexual intercourse by the age of 18, so it’s extremely important to ensure your daughter understands how to take care of her body. We discuss birth control and sex with your daughter in a trustworthy and safe environment.

We discuss sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as well as the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine during the adolescent gynecology visit. We also discuss the dangers of unprotected sex and answer any questions she may have.

When to schedule your daughter’s first visit

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that adolescent girls have their first gynecological visit between the ages of 13 and 15, or soon after starting her menstrual period. 

However, the first pelvic exam is generally not recommended until age 21, regardless of sexual activity. However, in some cases, your daughter's provider may decide a Pap smear of pelvic exam will be necessary before 21. This may be the case if your daughter has very heavy, painful, or abnormal periods.

For more information about adolescent gynecology, schedule an appointment with a provider at your nearest Rural Health Corporation of Northeastern Pennsylvania center in Nuremberg, Freeland, Falls, Hazleton, LaPorte, Wilkes Barre, Noxen, Shickshinny, or Edwardsville, Pennsylvania, today. 

We accept most forms of health insurance and provide a sliding fee schedule for patients who qualify. If transportation is a problem, our free van service can take you to and from our center at your convenience.