When and Why a Teen Should Start Seeing

When and Why a Teen Should Start Seeing a Gynecologist
Posted on 02/16/2022

Many parents wonder how to best support their daughters as they go through adolescence, a time of dramatic physical change, and sometimes uncertainty for parents and children. A part of this uncertainty is when and why should a teen start seeing a gynecologist and how can you prepare your child for her first visit. Doylestown Women’s Health Center is an all-female team providing obstetric and gynecologic care to women and girls in Doylestown, PA, and we can answer these pressing questions.

What Age is Right

For young girls, puberty can bring major changes, like the start of menstruation, as early as 12 years old. It is appropriate for girls as young as 13 to start seeing a gynecologist, and their experience at the office will be tailored to suit their needs and age. For instance, she will not receive a pelvic exam, and pap screening for cervical cancer is not necessary until she is 21 years old.

What to Expect

It is recommended that your daughter see a gynecologist for the first time between the ages of 13 and 15, whether or not she has started menstruating or is sexually active. The first visit will involve a general physical exam, including height, weight, and blood pressure, with the possibility of a brief external genital exam.

A Chance to Talk

The most important feature of the first visit is the opportunity for the young patient to privately discuss any questions or concerns she has with a qualified professional. The doctors at Doylestown Women’s Health Center are trained to listen and put patients' minds at ease, offer important advice, dispel anxiety, and correct misinformation. For a teenager navigating puberty, this is invaluable.

This conversation can cover a range of topics because, as women, our reproductive health is tied to our overall health, and therefore to every aspect of our lifestyle. The gynecologist will counsel the patient about risky behaviors that can have a major impact on this health and wellbeing, such as drinking, smoking, and unprotected sex. Other topics include mental health and physical fitness, diet, body image, and hygiene. Depending on the patient’s age and questions, the discussion topics can vary widely.

The Second Visit

Regular visits to the gynecologist are not necessary yet, unless the patient experiences something unusual like excessive pain during menstruation or a yeast infection, a trip to the gynecologist is recommended. If it’s time to bring your teen in for the first exam, or for any concern that needs evaluation or treatment, Doylestown Women’s Health offers all patients a caring and inclusive environment to seek advice comfortably. Contact us with any questions and request an appointment today.