First Gynecological Exam
When Should My Daughter See A Gynecologist for The First Time?
At our practice, we are often asked when to bring in your daughter for her first gynecological exam. The answer is variable and depends on the individual.
The standard age for your first gynecological exam, with no physical, sexual or irregular issues is 21, which would include a full pelvic exam and Pap test to check for abnormal changes in the cervix. The pelvic exam includes looking at the vulva, at the vagina and inside the cervix with a speculum. It also involves checking internal organs with a lubricated, gloved finger.
At The Rubino OB/GYN Group, we stylize the standard age and recommend teens come in for their first consultation at age 17 or 18, even if they are not sexually active. This allows them to speak to one of our practitioners about any questions or concerns she may have about her overall female health, any issues with her menstrual cycle, sexual encounters or plans for her sexual health in the future. A pelvic exam is not typically performed during this first appointment.
We generally ask mom or dad to excuse us during our discussion so we can talk to the teen one-on-one and gain some trust. This will help your teen feel more comfortable about disclosing something they may not be comfortable discussing in front of their parent – and would rather depend on a professional, who is outside of their circle.
Most parents respect this request, yet some like to stay in the room – which we completely respect. We aim to find a common ground so we can partner together as a team.
High School to College Transition
When a teen is heading off to college, and has not yet seen a gynecologist, we recommend they make an appointment before they leave. This is the first time they will be living on their own – which can come with a lot of challenges and stressors. We can talk to them about their future health and what is available to them from our practice, and even partner with a physician or clinic on campus.
It’s important they are aware of their options, understand safety precautions and ensure they are aware of the risks.
Going Into The Workforce
If you have a child going into the workforce, our practice can partner with them to understand their insurance options and help negotiate well-woman check-ups with their insurance carrier.
In A Relationship– If you have a teen that has a serious boyfriend, we highly recommend you come speak with one of our doctors. It’s important for your teens to be able to ask questions and be prepared for a sexual situation. We will help educate them on options.
Issues with their menstrual cycle– often teens can be faced with irregular, heavy and inconsistent periods. If this starts to affect their lifestyle and every day activities, we can help them navigate their options.
Unexpected sexual encounter– If your child has been placed in a situation they were not prepared for or was forced into a sexual encounter beyond their control, they should make an appointment with one of our doctors immediately. We can help them understand their next steps.
Our offices are HIIPA compliant and all information shared in an appointment is confidential.
Note: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends girls first see a gynecologist between the ages of 13 -15 if they would like a more detailed exam than their pediatrician offers. This visit would involve a regular health exam, without a pelvic exam, and talk to them about their development.
It also helps develop a relationship with a gynecologist and garner comfort sharing personal information in the future.
We are always here for your daughter, in any situation. Simply call our office to schedule an appointment. Sometimes making that first call is the hardest step. Our doctors are well trained on adolescent health. We promise to treat your daughter as family and make her first visit comfortable and welcoming.
Watch a video from Dr. Rubino discussing the first gynecological exam.
This and many more topics are covered on our video series “Ask Your Doctor” on our website.