Growing up and going through puberty is awkward for everyone, and for girls, there are a handful of new complications. While there are many health concerns that a family medical provider, pediatrician, or primary care doctor can address, some are best handled by a gynecologist. If you’re a parent to a pre-teen and wondering when and why it’s important for her to see a gynecologist soon, here’s what you need to know.
Why Should You Schedule an Appointment?
Gynecologists specialize in women’s pelvic, reproductive, sexual, and breast health. These are generally grouped together as simply “women’s health.” While a primary care doctor will be knowledgeable with these topics, a gynecologist has dedicated many more years to training in these fields. Furthermore, your child may have some questions about bodily changes or sexuality and would prefer to speak to someone else other than the usual pediatrician or primary care doctor.
What Should Happen Before the Appointment?
It’s good to book your daughter’s first gynecological appointment once puberty begins or when it’s about to start. Taking her there early helps avoid negative associations with this type of doctor; she’ll know she doesn’t have to wait for something wrong to talk to her gynecologist.
Your daughter has the right to request a female gynecologist. If the doctor is male, a female assistant or nurse should be present. She can also request that her mother or sister be in the room for her comfort. She can ask questions and voice any discomfort at any point in the process.
What Happens at the First Appointment?
While this first appointment may be incredibly nerve-wracking, it’s primarily informative. Your daughter will get a chance to ask whatever questions she has about her period, physical changes, pregnancy prevention, or safe sex. In most cases, there won’t be a physical pelvic exam; however, if she’s already started her period and has had issues with pain, abnormal discharge, or anything else concerning, there may be one.
Although a pelvic exam is unlikely, the doctor may take height, weight, and blood pressure values to get a baseline for their records. There’s a chance there will also be a breast exam for preventive health to check for any lumps or pain; the gynecologist will also let her know how to perform a self-breast exam.
If your daughter is getting older, the gynecologists at Greece Obstetrics and Gynecology can help her navigate this new stage of life. For 60 years, these doctors have been trusted throughout the Greater Rochester, NY, area for women’s health and family planning. Their team is known for their welcoming and personalized care; they’ll ensure your child is comfortable. They’ve recently added Dr. Zoila Velastegui to their team, and she’s taking on new patients! You can learn about their wide range of medical services on their website, but if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call them at (585) 225-6680.