Gynecology - Adolescent Gynecology
It is recommended that girls make their first visit to the gynecologist between the ages of 13 and 15. This is an opportunity for girls to start learning about staying healthy and ask questions they may otherwise be embarrassed to ask.
Topics may include menstruation, sexuality, nutrition, and normal development. Unless a girl suffers from abnormal bleeding or abdominal or pelvic pain, a first gynecological visit doesn’t have to include a physical exam, a Pap test, or pelvic exam.
A few days before and during your period, you might feel cramping and bloating in your abdomen. Many teens who have cramps also notice aching in the upper thighs, along with lower back pain. Some also notice bloating, breast tenderness, nausea, diarrhea, irritability or mood swings, and fatigue.
There are ways to relieve your cramps and other symptoms. You can take over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen, exercise, or place a heating pad on your stomach. Birth control methods can also be effective helping with PMS and cramping.
A gynecologic visit is an excellent opportunity to discuss pregnancy prevention and sexually transmitted diseases.
Gardasil is a vaccine can protect girls and women ages 9-26 from a virus that causes cervical cancer and genital warts.
The recommendation for pap tests during adolescence is 3 years after becoming sexually active or 21 years old, which ever comes first. It is still important, if sexually active, to have screening for sexually transmitted diseases annually.
For more information on follow-up recommendations, click on Abnormal Paps.