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Helping Your Teen Get Ready for Her First Well-Woman Exam

Helping Your Teen Get Ready for Her First Well-Woman Exam

Well-woman exams may be routine for adult women, but visiting the gynecologist for the first time often fills a teen girl with apprehension and uncertainty. You can help your teen feel more comfortable and confident in advance of their first well-woman exam. 

At FemmPro OB/GYN in Garden City and North Massapequa, New York, we recommend a teen girl have her first well-woman exam between ages 13 and 15. These initial visits focus on checking in on a teen’s reproductive health, answering questions about sexuality and the female body, and building a relationship with our caring OB/GYN team. 

Here’s what you can do to help your teen prepare.

Let her know what’s going to happen

Let your teen know that the well-woman visit is relatively quick and doesn’t differ much from visits she’s had with her general doctor or pediatrician. Teen girls are often fearful that their visit to the gynecologist will include a pelvic exam. Assure her that this is unlikely. Even if she’s having an unusual discharge or pelvic pain, she’s likely to get a trans-abdominal sonogram and some tests.

The first gynecological exam usually includes a general physical and a clinical breast exam and examining her external genitals. This visit includes no stirrups nor speculum. Most women don’t need an internal pelvic exam until they’ve reached age 21. 

Let her know there will be questions

Much of your teen’s first gynecological visit involves talking. The questions we ask are intended to help build a relationship and assist your teen in understanding her own reproductive and pelvic organ health. 

We may ask about her periods, including the date of her last one, and if she’s experiencing any unusual bleeding or pain. We’ll also talk about birth control, sexual relationships, pregnancy, body image, and uncomfortable symptoms like vaginal itching or discharge.

Assure her that the visit is necessary and that the information is kept confidential. 

Regular gynecology visits help women avoid unnecessary health complications. Young teens are often embarrassed to discuss personal issues, especially those surrounding sexuality and sexual behavior, but assure her that these are natural and important things for her doctor to know. 

Starting these visits early can help a teen feel better about her body and sexuality. They can also help her prevent unplanned pregnancy. If your teen has painful periods, pelvic pain, or missed periods, we can offer treatment to relieve discomfort and concerns. 

Follow-up with your teen after the visit

Talk to your teen after the visit and get their feedback about how it went. Let her know she doesn’t have to disclose personal details discussed with her doctor but that she should let you know if anything made her feel uncomfortable. You can help her feel more confident about her health and doctors’ visits by encouraging openness and a non-judgmental space surrounding the event.

If you’re ready to schedule a well-woman exam for your teen or yourself, contact FemmPro OB/GYN today. Call one of the offices today or use the online tool to set up an appointment.

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