Doctors recommend doing yearly checkups to female teens starting at the age of 13. Also called well-women visits, these checkups are focused on the female’s reproductive system.
These wellness checks are helpful in catching small issues that may lead to serious health problems when left undetected or unmanaged
For a teenager, this first visit can be scary, embarrassing, or overwhelming. As a parent, there are things you can do to prepare her and make her more at ease during her first gynecology visit.
How You Can Help
Explain the importance of this and subsequent visits
Some teens may associate doctor’s visits with being unwell and may not understand why this checkup is needed.
Explain to her that this well-woman visit will provide her with information and confidential answers to whatever questions pertaining to her body and sexuality. It can also help her prevent unplanned pregnancy and provide treatment for any reproductive system-related issues she may have such as painful periods, missed periods, or pelvic pain.
Walk her through the process
For some, the first visit may just be a talk with the doctor while for others, it may involve a physical exam, including a check on the genitals.
Assure your daughter that the exam won’t actually be that long. Most teenage girls don’t get an internal pelvic exam (healthy females are usually recommended to have this at the age of 21).
Prepare her for what the doctor may ask
Explain to your daughter that during this wellness check, her doctor will ask questions. These questions will help her determine her health status and the subsequent step(s) to take.
The doctor may ask about her:
- last period
- if she is sexually active and if she’s been using birth control
- her history of STDs
- problems she may have with her periods
- unusual vaginal discharges
- discomfort or itchiness in the vaginal area
Involve her in choosing a provider
Does she want to have a female or male provider? Would she like to stick to someone she has seen before or someone her pediatrician would recommend?
Although you’d still be on top of this, involving your daughter in the decision-making process would make her more at ease with her first Well-Women Visit.
Women’s Healthcare of Norman has dedicated specialists who are committed to women’s health needs.
We offer wellness consultations for adolescents on which we do full medical assessments and possible minimally invasive exams.
We know how overwhelming this can be to your teenager so our doctors will thoroughly and carefully explain the process. Your daughter will have the opportunity to ask questions and voice her concerns.
To request an appointment or if you have more questions about our wellness program for teenagers, you may call us at (405) 360-1264.