Most adult women would agree that visiting the gynecologist regularly is an essential part of their body’s well-being. As your child ages and enters puberty, it’s time to start the process for them, too. Adolescent gynecology is a great way for your child to get in the habit of these visits while allowing them to get to know the doctors who will help them as their body develops.
What Is Adolescent Gynecology?
Adolescent gynecology is a specialty in obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN). An adolescent gynecologist is less involved with completing pap smears and pelvic exams than they are with conducting wellness visits and establishing a bond with their new patient. Visiting a gynecologist for the first time can feel overwhelming, and it’s the adolescent OB/GYN’s job to help patients feel comfortable so they come back again when they need evaluations.
The first visit will likely just consist of talking and a short, basic examination. The gynecologist will get to know your child and develop a plan of how to proceed in the future. If the patient is sexually active or has a concern they want to address, the gynecologist may complete a more thorough exam, but only with the patient’s consent.
When Should You Start Seeing a Gynecologist?
When your child sees a gynecologist for the first time depends on their development and sexual activity and whether any related concerns arise. In general, when your child gets their period for the first time, that’s a good signal it will be time to make the visit soon.
Most doctors recommend visiting a gynecologist for the first time before age 13-15, regardless of an adolescent’s activity or whether they’ve menstruated. However, you may visit earlier if you or your child think a gynecologist needs to address a concern.
Many gynecological conditions that affect grown adults start in adolescence. Your gynecologist may suggest a more in-depth examination or tests if they see evidence of:
- Early puberty: Puberty in girls is considered normal when it starts around age 10 or later. Early puberty can indicate hormonal imbalances.
- Menstrual irregularities: These issues include painful periods, extremely heavy bleeding and older adolescents who have not gotten their period.
- Ovarian cysts or polycystic ovarian syndrome: Cysts in the ovaries can be painful or make it difficult to conceive children later in life.
- STDs or pregnancy: These conditions should be treated immediately to keep your child healthy and help them understand their options.
Your child may also discuss other things with their gynecologist. If they have acne, the gynecologist may discuss skin treatments to help it go away. If they’re sexually active or have irregular periods, the gynecologist may prescribe them birth control.
Schedule Your Child's First Gynecologist Visit Today
Midwifery at Rose understands how important it is to make a good impression on your child’s first gynecologist visit, and our team does everything we can to make you and your child comfortable from the moment you enter our office. Our collaborative, holistic approach to women’s health care allows us to treat women throughout every major moment in their lives, from their first period through menopause.
Contact us today to make an appointment. Our adolescent gynecologists are here to help.