When Should GYN Visits Start?
It’s not infrequent for patients to ask us when their daughters should start seeing a Gynecologist.
ACOG recommends that the first GYN visit occurs between 13 and 15 years of age. This first visit is meant to establish a relationship and trust, as well as educate and counsel on reproductive health. Topics covered include puberty and menstruation. Importantly, the young woman is always given plenty of time to express her own concerns and questions. Counseling on topics such as pregnancy and STD prevention will be personalized to the woman. We do screen for risky behavior, such as alcohol, drug, or tobacco use. We also assess eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and abuse.
Most young women are reassured to know that they will not need a pelvic exam at the first visit, and likely won’t for several years. The current recommendation is to start routine pelvic exams and pap smears at age 21. Occasionally, we will need to do an exam at an earlier age for specific problems, such as heavy bleeding. Dr. Salisbury and Dr. Zaander both have experience guiding young women through a first exam in a calm, reassuring manner. We want each patient to know they are in control -- we will never force a woman to have an exam.
The initial GYN visit is an important step for young women in learning about and managing their own health. It is an opportunity for them to develop a physician-patient relationship, build trust, and learn lifelong healthy behaviors. Dr. Zaander and Dr. Salisbury both take great care in making this visit a positive experience.
If you, or someone you know, is due for their first GYN visit, you can schedule by calling 503-908-1646 or through online scheduling at www.drngyn.com
We are working on a webinar / virtual open house! Many of you have kindly sent questions already. If there is a topic you would like to see covered, please don’t hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org
We remain open Monday through Friday for in-office and TeleMed visits. Dr. Salisbury will continue to see patients 9-5, and for you early birds, Dr. Zaander will begin to offer office hours at 8 am.
Dr. Zaander and Dr. Salisbury