We often get questions from parents wondering when their daughters should see a gynecologist for the first time. In short, it depends on when you and your daughter feel comfortable, it just feels like the right time. Although there is no hard and fast rule for when you should come in, we’d like to provide a few guidelines and additional information to help in this “coming of age” point in a young woman’s life.
Going to the gynecologist for the first time may cause a bit of anxiety for some girls. But, we’d like you to know that it doesn’t have to be as scary as it seems. In many cases, a pelvic exam may not even be necessary. By simply having a trusted professional available to discuss any concerns can make all the difference in the world – for parents and their daughters. In general, we recommend the following:
- HPV Vaccine – Girls and young women between the ages of 11-27 years are encouraged to come in and receive the HPV vaccine.
- Heavy/Painful Periods – Typically, we start to see girls around 14-15 years old for this, but it can vary. No matter the age, you should visit a women’s health provider if you have heavy or painful periods.
- Sexual Activity – As soon as a young woman becomes sexually active, she should see a women’s health provider. This appointment may involve a pelvic exam and can also include birth control counseling and risk management, as well.
- Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) – If a young woman shows symptoms or suspects she may have an STI, it is very important to come in right away and get tested.
- Pap Smears – Once a young woman reaches 21 years of age and still has not visited a women’s health provider, it’s time to come in for a yearly Pap Smear.
- Questions/Counseling – Young women do not have to wait until something is wrong to come in. Part of our job here at Beaver Dam Women’s Health is education and simply discussing your personal health.
We understand that this can be a confusing time in a young woman’s life. We welcome the opportunity to talk or answer questions and we encourage mothers to come to the appointment, as well. Visit http://www.bdwomenshealth.com/Womens-Health-Clinic-Wisconsin/Meet-Our-Team-of-Womens-Health-Care-Providers or call (920) 885-6090 to learn more about our providers and what services we offer here at Beaver Dam Women’s Health.
About the Author:
Effie Siomos, MD
Dr. Effie Siomos completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and received her MD and Masters in Population Health from the University of Wisconsin, Madison where she also won awards for excellence in teaching. Dr. Siomos specializes in normal and high-risk obstetrics, routine gynecology, health and prevention, pre-pregnancy counseling, heavy and irregular periods, minimally invasive surgery, hysterectomy alternatives, and menopause. Along with her professional knowledge and background, she also brings her own personal experience in many OB/GYN areas such as infertility, miscarriage and pregnancy to the patients she works with. Dr. Siomos understands the many demands women face as caregivers. Through flexible solutions and open communication, she offers the caring support her patients need to maintain a healthy balance in their lives.