Is it time for your daughter to make her first OBGYN visit? An OBGYN, or obstetric gynecologist, is a medical professional whose focus is women's health, specifically the female reproductive system. All women need to see an OBGYN once they reach a certain level of maturity and will need to continue making regular appointments for the rest of their lives to ensure good health.
As a parent, you understand the importance of taking your daughter to see a gynecologist as part of her overall health and well-being, but you may be unsure about when she should make her first visit. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, girls should first see a gynecologist when they are between the ages of 13 and 15. By this time, girls will be menstruating and also may be sexually active.
The following is a list of beneficial information every girl needs to know before going to her first gynecological appointment.
A first gynecological visit often involves the OBGYN asking lots of questions to get basic information about the patient's health. For example, it is important for an OBGYN to know how old a patient is, whether or not she has already started to menstruate and if she is sexually active. Patients are encouraged to have candid conversations with a professional OBGYN and should not feel embarrassed, as it is important for all young women to be given accurate information regarding their personal health.
If an OBGYN feels it necessary to perform a pelvic exam during a patient's first appointment, knowing what to expect is beneficial and may calm the patient's nerves. A pelvic exam requires an OBGYN to physically examine the pelvic area in order to ensure that all parts of the body are healthy. The exam only takes a couple of minutes and is completely painless, although some patients might feel slight pressure or discomfort.
The conversations a women has with her OBGYN are completely confidential, unless the OBGYN feels the information needs to be shared with the minor's parents. This fact should be of great comfort, as the patient is free to ask anything she wants and receive the answers she needs to maintain her sexual health. Young patients often have concerns and questions about what is and is not considered "normal," and being able to ask a trained professional — who is not their parent — can provide great relief for worried young minds.
If your daughter is between the ages of 13 and 15 or has experienced any seemingly abnormal reproductive symptoms, such as delayed puberty or painful periods, it is likely time to make an appointment with an OBGYN. These trained health professionals are equipped to handle your daughter's most pressing women's health concerns in a safe, comfortable, and confidential matter.
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