Learning to take care of oneself is an important lesson for women to learn and proper care begins at a young age. Even if your daughter, niece, granddaughter, or loved one has been maintaining well visits with a pediatrician or family doctor for many years, gynecology care is also important. In fact, the American College of Gynecology now recommends that young ladies schedule their first gynecology appointment between the as young as age 13.
While this may sound young, especially for teenage girls who are not sexually active, the first gynecology appointments do not require an internal exam before the age of 16. The first appointments are used as a tool to answer questions about your teen's changing body and to build trust between the gynecologist and the young woman. This early appointments will shape the way the teen views gynecology care and healthy habits for years to come.
To prepare your teen for her first appointment, it is best to be open and honest. It's also important that parents or guardians leave the room for her appointment. Often young ladies are more comfortable being honest about their questions, concerns, or sexual activity with the physician if she has some privacy.
If your teen is not sexually active, the first appointment will likely only include a conversation and a general exam where the gynecologist listens to the heart and lungs, checks for lumps, and may perform a breast exam. If your teen does need an internal exam, you may need to prepare her for the appointment a little bit differently. Often teens have misconceptions about gynecology exams based on rumors or mistruths from their friends.
You can calm these fears by explaining that there is nothing of which she should be embarrassed and that the exam should not be painful. It may not be a fun exam, but it should be quick and shouldn't hurt. You should also explain that these appointments are necessary for young women, and women of all ages, in order to ensure that her reproductive health remains strong.
If you're searching for a gynecologist for yourself, or a young loved one that you can trust and depend on, call Dr. Taryll Jenkins of Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Medicine today. For many years, Dr. Jenkins has provided Katy women of all ages and stages of life with quality gynecology and reproductive care.
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