5 reasons to visit an adolescent gynecologist
It may be a surprise to many families, but the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends teenagers first visit a gynecologist sometime between ages 13 and 15 to establish care. The visit usually involves an in-person introduction to a gynecologist and is a good way to gradually get girls familiar with the specialty and provide them with important information about their bodies. Amber Truehart, MD, a specialist in pediatric and adolescent gynecology, shares five important reasons to bring your daughter to the gynecologist in her early teens:
- Teenagers aren’t always comfortable asking adults about periods, sex and birth control — and they deserve better information than hallway gossip from their friends. Developing a trusting relationship with a doctor early on will help girls feel comfortable asking tough questions.
- Adolescent gynecologists have special training and are experienced in talking to girls at various stages of their adolescence.
- A pelvic exam in an emergency situation with an unknown doctor is not the ideal way to introduce a girl to gynecologic care. Early visits with a trained expert can help build trust and confidence before an emergency arises.
- I’ve heard from many patients who receive misinformation about pregnancy and the transmission of sexually transmitted infections. Your daughter should learn about STIs and pregnancy prevention before becoming sexually active.
- Gynecologists can help your daughter through menstrual issues such as pain, heavy bleeding, irregular periods, vaginal discharge, etc. We will also order a basic blood workup if necessary. There’s also a lot of myth-busting work I get to do when it comes to how hormones can control menstrual cycles. Many girls who come from families of women used to heavy periods, for example, don’t understand that you don’t have to have a nine-day period.
About Amber Truehart, MD
Amber Truehart, MD, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of gynecologic conditions affecting infants, girls, teens and young women, such as painful or heavy menstrual bleeding, labial adhesions and vulvar disorders.Read Dr. Truehart's physician bio