The First Gynecology Visit | A Parent's Guide

Some women will tell you that being a boy would have been a whole lot more simple as a teenager, and if you are a parent of a teenage girl, it can really drive home this perception. Female adolescents have another step in their medical care that boys will never have to deal with: gynecology. If you are the parent of a teenage daughter, there is no doubt that the topic of taking her in for her first gynecological exam will be something on your mind. Here are a few of the most common questions parents have about this visit. 

When should you take your daughter to the gynecologist for the first time?

Unless your daughter has problems, such as irregular periods, taking her to see a gynecologist will not have to happen until she is between 13 and 15 years old. Some parents assume that if their daughter has not yet started her menstruation, then there is no need for the first visit. However, the first visit can happen at any time before she starts and can help her be more prepared. 

Will your daughter have to have a vaginal examination on her first visit?

It is not always necessary for an exam or pap smear to be performed on the first visit. This is usually only required if your daughter is already sexually active or having issues with something like excessive cramping or missed periods. 

What will happen at the first visit?

Even if an exam is not performed at your daughter's first visit, this can be a lengthy trip to the doctor's office. Several things will happen while she is in the office and a great amount of time will usually be taken to ensure she feels comfortable with the whole ordeal. The gynecologist will likely ask questions about sexual activity, talk about sexual safety, discuss female health concerns, and inquire about birth control if necessary. In most cases, it will be left up to you to decide if you stay in the room with your daughter, but you should keep in mind that some adolescents will be more straightforward with the doctor about their sexual history if you are not present. 

Even though your daughter's first gynecological exam can be a little nerve-wracking, it is an important part of growing up as a female, and as a parent, it will be your responsibility to make sure you encourage your daughter to take this step. Talk to your preferred gynecologist for more information about any questions you have about your daughter's first visit.