What young women should know about their first Gyn exam and well-woman visits
Young women see a physician for their first Gyn exam at different ages. However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that a young woman should have her first visit with a gynecologist at age 13 to 15.
When a teenager has her first appointment, the physicians at Athens ObGyn may just talk with her about her health, or they may also perform certain exams, depending on the patient. The first visit sets the stage for a lifetime of well-woman visits to keep women healthy and strong.
What can a young woman expect during the first Gyn exam?
During the first gynecology appointment, our physicians ask several questions about the young woman’s health history, family history and her life. Here are some questions patients can expect to answer.
- Menstruation. This includes asking about the age of the first period, whether menstruation is regular, how long periods last and whether menstruation causes symptoms, such as cramping or mood swings.
- Sexual activity. Our doctors may ask whether the patient has engaged in sexual activity and whether she uses birth control. If she is sexually active, they will also discuss sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and how to prevent them.
- Mental health. We may ask whether she feels depressed or anxious, whether she is experiencing any dating violence or dealing with drug or alcohol use issues.
What you need to know about the physical exam
The physical examination involves checking the young woman’s weight, height, blood pressure and discussing general health issues. During the first Gyn exam, the gynecologist may or may not examine the external genitals and perform a breast exam.
Many young women are nervous or afraid to have their first pelvic exam. A pelvic exam may or may not be part of a first Gyn visit, but there is nothing to be anxious about if it is. The exam is over quickly and becomes a routine part of well-woman visits. Pap tests usually begin when a woman is 21 years old, regardless of her sexual activity.
Getting comfortable with the physicians at Athens ObGyn
Our compassionate staff works hard to assure patients that they can ask any and all questions, knowing that everything they say is kept completely confidential. Young women can start a lifetime of good health by contacting us for their first Gyn exam.