First Gyn Visit: A Guide for Teens | Oakdale ObGyn

When is the best time for a young woman,
adolescent teenager, to come in to see a gynecologist? That depends on several
things. Many pediatricians provide adolescent and teenage care for young
women into their 20s, and if a teenager is having pelvic exams, getting birth
control from her pediatrician, then there’s really no reason to transition
to a gynecologist until the pediatrician no longer feels comfortable taking care
of her; or family practitioner or a primary care provider. For most women, they are
going to feel most comfortable transitioning to a gynecologist before
they really need to see a gynecologist; before there’s any problem. And the
first visit to a gynecologist doesn’t necessarily even need to include a
pelvic exam. There’s often just things we can talk
about: questions to answer, make sure that she’s very aware of anatomy, make sure
she knows that a gynecologist is a great resource for her if there are times when
she doesn’t feel comfortable talking to a mother or family friend, then the
gynecologist is the person she should be going to to ask those questions rather
than her other teenage friends. And it’s important for her to know that anything
we talk about is confidential. Of course I want young women to be talking to
their mothers and families about questions and concerns they have, but
it’s good to know that there’s another resource for them if they need it.
So as a 17 year old as a teenager with your first gyn exam, what you can expect
is really to be able to talk to your doctor and decide what you need at that
visit. Your very first visit may or may not even include a pelvic exam.
It may be talking about questions you have — concerns. If there aren’t any
problems, if we’re there to talk about fairly normal things and do something
like a general physical, then the pelvic part of the exam could be incredibly
minimal. It’s not necessarily going to entail a full gyn exam and the
conversation that you have is completely confidential, so anything that you want
to bring up with your gynecologist don’t hesitate to. A teenager’s
knowledge about her anatomy, sexuality, medical care related to gynecology can
vary. There can be women who are young women who are very mature for their age
and understand a lot about their bodies and what they need and should be doing,
and there are women who really don’t understand much about that and exams and
the things we talk about can be catered towards where their knowledge base is.
There’s no such thing as a silly or embarrassing question. I approach all
teens the first time I’m seeing them, with the same kind of information
regardless of whether I think they have that information or not because there’s
a lot of misinformation out there too. You hear about what a gynecologic exam
is like from your best friend who went last week, and that may not be what we’re
going to do at all. Even women in their 20s and 30s don’t always understand what
we’re doing and why and what the different parts of a gynecologic exam
are. A gynecologic or pelvic exam essentially
has three different parts. The first part is looking externally at the external
genitalia — the labia the vulva — and making sure there’s no problem skin changes,
anatomies normal. The second part is the part that usually everybody is worried
about and gets uptight about and that’s the speculum exam using the equipment to
actually go inside the vagina look at the cervix. It literally takes about a
minute; it’s very fast it’s not nearly as uncomfortable as sometimes people make
it out to be, and it sometimes doesn’t even be done. It’s the way we actually
obtain a pap smear, which is the screen for cervical cancer, but not all women
need that test every time, and it’s also a way again to look at the anatomy of
the cervix. It’s a way to obtain samples for sexually transmitted disease
screening and see if there’s any problems with infections, but it’s a very quick
part of the exam. And then the final part is actually a feeling exam feeling the
anatomy internally: the uterus and ovaries and tubes.
It’s important for young women to know that when they are even under the age of
18, gyn care is completely confidential, including a treatment for concerns for
pregnancies, birth control, and sexually transmitted infections.

9 Replies to “First Gyn Visit: A Guide for Teens | Oakdale ObGyn”

  1. I have an appointment tomorrow and I am supposed to get the exam and Deppo shot and my nexplanon removed. I am extremy nervous and dreading it. should I be worried.

  2. I just recently turned 14 and i know i dont plan on be sexually active until im good and married, I also have not had any health problems yet. When will i have to go to my first appointment. Im very nervous.

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