We all know that seeing a gynecologist can be intimidating. This especially rings true for young women who are making their first visit
When should a teen first see a gynecologist?
Teens should schedule their first gynecologic visit between the ages of 13 and 15 years of age. If there are problems with irregular, heavy or painful cycles, this may be done even earlier.
Is it normal to be nervous before the first visit?
It is normal to feel nervous during your first visit. At Carolina OB/GYN, we will talk with you and put you at ease.
What should I expect during my first visit?
Your doctor will ask questions that may seem personal, but are important for managing your healthcare. These will include questions about your menstrual period and sexual activities. Please remember that the information you share with your physician is confidential.
What exams are performed?
A general physical exam, during which your height, weight, and blood pressure will be checked, is usually conducted during your first visit. An external genital exam may also be performed.
A pelvic exam is usually not performed at the first visit unless you are having problems such as abnormal bleeding or pain. If you are sexually active, you may have tests for certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Most of the tests that you will need can be done with a urine sample.
What are the pelvic exam and Pap test?
The pelvic exam has three parts:
- Looking at the vulva
- Looking at the vagina and cervix with a speculum
- Checking the internal organs with a gloved hand
Another test that you will have later (at age 21 years) is a Pap test. This test checks for abnormal changes in the cervix that could lead to cancer.
Do I need vaccinations?
The following vaccines are given to young women between the ages of 11 and 18 on a routine basis:
- Tetanus–diphtheria–pertussis (Tdap) booster
- Human papillomavirus vaccine
- Meningococcal vaccine
- Influenza vaccine (yearly)
In addition to routine vaccines, special vaccines may be given to young women who are at an increased risk for certain diseases.
What special concerns can you discuss with your OB/GYN?
Many young women share the same health concerns.
- Cramps and problems with menstrual periods
- Sex and sexuality
- Birth control
- Alcohol, drugs, and smoking
- Emotional ups and downs
Young girls have needs that are often as complex as older women. The physicians and staff of Carolina OB/GYN take the time to get to know their patients and make them comfortable before delving into sensitive information or performing an exam. At Carolina OB/GYN, we recognize that our role is to provide sound medical care and provide information that will help patients—regardless of their age–make good choices and stay healthy.