Going to the gynecologist for the first time can sometimes feel stressful for teens. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends girls begin seeing the gynecologist between the ages of thirteen and fifteen. These appointments help to ensure female adolescents are developing as they should and there are no reproductive problems occurring.
Preparing for the Gynecological Examination
Before being examined by any des moines ia gynecologist, it helps for a teen to write down any pertinent information on their reproductive health, such as when they started their first menses and any unusual symptoms they may be experiencing. It is also important teens are prepared to fill out a health history and questionnaire, since these will provide important information to the doctor.
What Happens During the Examination?
Many teens are a little nervous about their first appointment with the gynecologist because of the embarrassment. The teen will go through a thorough examination which includes a pelvic exam and PAP smear, along with a breast examination. Even if the teen has not yet become sexually active, there are reproductive issues that can arise, and these need to be screened for by a gynecologist on a regular basis.
Pelvic examinations involve the use of a special scope that allows the doctor to view the cervix and take a small sample of tissue. This sample allows the doctor to test for sexually transmitted diseases, infections, and even cervical cancer. It is completely normal for a girl to feel nervous about her first pelvic exam and it may help her to talk about her nervousness with her parents or another trusted adult. Talking with a woman who has been through a pelvic examination can be helpful.
The Benefits of Yearly Pelvic Examinations
The benefits of pelvic examinations include being able to protect the reproductive health of the teen and ensure any health issues are diagnosed and treated promptly so there is no lasting damage. When a teen begins seeking gynecological care at a young age, her reproductive organs are more likely to be healthy and free of problems. Teens should have yearly pelvic examinations, and these should continue for life.
It is important to note that the number one step a teen can take to protect her reproductive health is to practice safe sex. As a part of the examination, the gynecologist will talk to their patient about their sexual history. If the teen is sexually active, the doctor will discuss birth control. Sometimes, teens end up needing birth control to simply regulate their periods, even if they are not sexually active.
A gynecological exam can be stressful the first time, but the doctor and all staff members will work to make teens feel as comfortable as possible. With these routine examinations, teens will be healthier, and their health will be protected. Seeing the gynecologist when excess bleeding, pain, or signs of infection strike will help to provide the treatment that will stop these systems and ensure the teen recovers.