When Should My Adolescent Have Her First Gynecological Visit?

Jul 01, 2023
When Should My Adolescent Have Her First Gynecological Visit?
Adolescent gynecology is essential to your daughter’s overall health, helping her build a good reproductive health routine. Find out more about why adolescent gynecology is important and when your daughter should have her first visit.

Understanding and asking questions about reproductive health is essential for your daughter to build good habits and a comfortable relationship with her body. 

Adolescent gynecology visits are a great way for your daughter to learn about her changing body, sex and sexuality, and more. And because most adolescents don’t need an internal pelvic exam, there’s no need for your daughter to feel anxious. 

At the Center for Advanced Pediatrics in Norwalk and Darien, Connecticut, our compassionate providers offer adolescent gynecology services to help your daughter feel comfortable with the changes she’s going through. 

Take a moment to find out about adolescent gynecology and when your daughter should have her first visit. 

The value of an adolescent gynecology visit

Gynecology is important for young girls for many reasons. As girls grow and experience puberty and changes in their social and personal lives, they often don’t feel comfortable asking their parents about sensitive topics. 

Your daughter might turn to her friends or the internet for information on birth control, puberty, sex, and sexuality, and she may get false or misleading information about topics important to her health. 

A gynecology visit gives your daughter safe and reliable information about these topics, and it’s a great way to establish the importance of regular gynecological care. A good experience at the Center for Advanced Pediatrics during her teen years helps remove your daughter’s anxiety and fear of seeing a gynecologist when she’s older.

Once your daughter has an established relationship with us, there’s more trust and less discomfort during her adolescent gynecological visit. Plus, we already have a good idea of her overall health, which is vital for addressing her gynecological health as part of a holistic view. 

Adolescent gynecological visits start similarly to other office visits. We conduct a general health exam, taking height, weight, and vital signs. Then we discuss issues pertinent to your daughter’s overall and reproductive health, such as:

General health

We cover general health topics as part of an adolescent gynecological visit. Topics may include mood and depression, diet and exercise, drug and alcohol use, and sexuality. 

Puberty and hormonal changes 

Puberty can be challenging, and it's not always easy for kids to openly ask questions about the hormonal changes their bodies are experiencing. We discuss what your daughter can expect during this period and help her understand normal changes versus potential issues that may require medical attention. By being informed, she will better understand what to anticipate and when it's necessary to seek treatment.

The menstrual cycle and irregular periods

Irregular periods are normal during the first two years of menstruation. At your daughter’s gynecological visit, we explain the causes of irregular periods and provide information about what to look for regarding problems with the menstrual cycle. 

If your daughter can’t continue her normal daily routine due to extremely painful periods or has a very heavy blood flow, we discuss causes and treatments. 

Sexual activity and birth control

Over half of US teens have sexual intercourse by age 18, so ensuring your daughter understands how to care for her body is important. We discuss sex and birth control with your daughter in a safe and trustworthy environment. 

We discuss sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine during your daughter’s adolescent gynecology visit. We also talk about 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 recommends that adolescent girls have their first gynecological visit between 13-15.

However, getting a first pelvic exam is generally not recommended until age 21, regardless of sexual activity. In some cases, however, your daughter’s provider may decide a Pap smear or pelvic exam is necessary before 21. 

Reasons may include not beginning menstruation by age 15 or 3 years after breast development begins, unusual vaginal discharge, unexplained pelvic or genital pain, or abnormal vaginal bleeding.

If you would like to learn more about adolescent gynecology or schedule your daughter’s visit, schedule an appointment online or over the phone at the Center for Advanced Pediatrics location nearest you today.