It’s not always something parents want to think about, but when you have a daughter, it’s a fact of life. So…at what age should your daughter start seeing a gynecologist?
The answer varies with each young woman, depending on her needs, but there are many reasons for girls to begin to see a gynecologist as soon as she starts menstruating. One of the most common sign that it may be time for her to see a gynecologist is a heavy and/or painful period. While this can be normal, it can also be a sign of a more serious condition, such as endometriosis.
Regardless of the cause, pelvic pain and painful periods are important conditions to check into, as they often cause teenage girls to miss school.
A gynecologist can often determine whether or not there’s cause for concern based solely on your daughter’s history. In the majority of cases, invasive exams can be avoided. Fortunately, several effective treatment choices are available for the treatment of painful periods and endometriosis.
General consultation: Another good reason some parents want their daughters to visit a gynecologist is for a general consultation regarding sexual and reproductive health. Many girls benefit from a one-on-one discussion about the changes taking place in their bodies, the menstrual cycle and the reproduction process.
While open communication between teens and their parents on these topics is ideal, sometimes these conversations can be difficult for both the parent and their teens. Having this information discussed with a gynecologist encourages frank discussion regarding these issues. It can also help promote more effective communication at home.
Immunization: A third good reason for a teen’s visit to a gynecologist is that adolescence is an important time to discuss immunization considerations. Currently, the HPV vaccine is recommended between the ages of 9 and 15 but it can be administered as late as 26 years of age. This visit with the gynecologist is an opportunity to discuss the vaccine, its importance and the risks of immunizing versus not immunizing with your daughter.
Even without considering health issues, it’s important for a young woman to establish a trusting relationship with a gynecologist by the age of 18. While pap smears and routine pelvic exams are no longer recommended before the age of 21, a young woman should have a gynecologist she knows and trusts before issues or problems develop.
So if your daughter is “coming of age” it may be time for her to start building a relationship with her gynecologist. Why not give us a call today and schedule an appointment?