For a teenage girl, the first gynecological visit can be a source of great anxiety. Knowing what to expect can help relieve this anxiety. Here is some helpful information about the first gynecologic health visit.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends the first gynecologic visit at age 13 to 15. A pelvic exam is not usually needed at this visit. The goal is for you to get acquainted with your doctor, the nurses and office staff and the office layout. This familiarity will make it more comfortable for you when discussing your personal issues.
Your gynecologist or nurse will explain what will happen during the visit, including the order of how things will go and what will be discussed with parents or guardians. We usually meet you with your parent or guardian first and then talk with you in private. If you need a pelvic examination, we will explain it to you.
Your privacy is always respected
Your privacy is important to your gynecologist. We will keep your discussion private. Teen patients should understand that if we learn that you may be in danger of hurting yourself or someone else or if someone is hurting you, we will have to share that information with your parent or guardian.
Every patient we see is different. Your gynecologist will spend time talking with you and getting to know you. We will answer any questions or address any problems you may be having. We will teach you about normal development and menstrual periods. We will review important safety topics – sexual abstinence and birth control, avoiding smoking, alcohol and drug use and even violence prevention, if needed. If you are thinking about having sex, we will talk to you about how to protect yourself. Make a list of any questions you need answered.
A complete physical exam
We usually perform a general physical exam. This helps to assess your physical development. When we examine private areas of the body, we will only look on the outside, and we may have a nurse or medical assistant there to make you comfortable. You can have your mother or a friend with you for support during the exam. If you need internal pelvic examination, your gynecologist may choose special, smaller instruments to make the exam more comfortable.
Your first Pap test should be performed at age 21. We also use urine STD testing to screen for STDs when there are no apparent symptoms. You will also learn about the importance of HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccination.
Your baby has grown to be a teenager and, with her changing needs, she deserves gentle and caring attention. Call ObGyn of East Brunswick at 732.254.1500 in East Brunswick or in Manalapan at 732.780.6970. For your convenience, you can also use our online form to schedule your appointment. Our teen patients visit us from East Brunswick, New Brunswick, Old Bridge and Monroe in Middlesex County and Manalapan in Monmouth County, NJ.