Triangle Physicians for Women serves women in all stages of life including the very first gynecology appointment. While many parents stay on top of all of their child’s necessary doctors appointments, there is still some confusion when it comes to scheduling their daughter’s first trip to the OB/GYN. Because of the variations between body, lifestyle, and maturation, what may be an appropriate time for one girl may not be the same as her best friend. Triangle Physicians for Women advises our patients to wait and see us when they reach the age of 18 unless otherwise referred by a pediatrician.
Although the average age of a girl’s first period is around 12 and a half, it’s more likely that their body has started to change by the time they reach her teen years. Your daughter’s pediatrician is generally able to handle most questions related to puberty and development, including issues with your daughter’s period such as moderate cramping. For severe cramping or heavy bleeding, a pediatrician may make a referral to an OB/GYN for treatment and recommendations. Other than any out-of-the-ordinary circumstances, your daughter’s pediatrician can provide appropriate care until your daughter reaches 18, and annual exams begin.
Reasons Why Your Teen Should Start Seeing an OB/GYN
While Pap tests are not necessary until your daughter reaches the age of 21, there are some instances where your daughter would be referred to an OB/GYN during her teens. OB/GYN doctors specialize in diagnosing and treating UTIs, treating conditions related to vaginal itching and discharge, diagnosing menstrual problems that might cause pain or heavy bleeding, and addressing questions and issues related to overall sexual health.
In most of these cases, a referral to a midwife is also an appropriate choice as midwives are specialists in woman’s gynecological health care.
What to Expect on the First Visit
It can be intimidating and uncomfortable for your teen to walk into an OB/GYN office for the first time, but it’s important that you both know that it is more often than not a simple and seamless first visit. Typically, only a general physical exam will occur, which is not different from what your daughter would experience in a pediatrician’s office. This includes having their height, weight, and blood pressure checked. Pelvic exams are not usually administered on the first visit unless the patient is sexually active or is experiencing heavy bleeding or painful periods. To learn some more helpful tips relating to your daughter’s appointment preparation, feel free to refer to our blog, Preparing Your Daughter For Her First OB/GYN Appointment.
Talk To An OB/GYN Provider
If your daughter is under the age of 18 and you feel your daughter needs the specialized care of an OB/GYN, ask her pediatrician for a referral to our office. If you have further questions regarding a possible visit for your daughter, please reach out to us at (919) 678-6900.