Thinking about scheduling your first gynecologist appointment? Here’s everything you can expect during your first gynecologist visit.
At Women’s Care, our physicians recommend young women have their first pelvic exam at 18 years old, unless they are experiencing pelvic pain, problems with menstruation or are sexually active. In these cases, it is recommended they see a gynecologist.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests that young women meet their gynecologist for the first time between 13-15 years old. The primary goal of this initial visit is to establish an open and safe relationship so you feel comfortable asking questions and talking about your personal health during later visits. During this initial visit, a pelvic exam will not be performed unless you are 18 years or older.
What Happens During the Appointment
You are welcome to have someone come with you to the appointment. This can help with nerves or remembering specific questions, but it’s also fine to have them wait in the waiting room. It’s totally up to you.
During the appointment, your doctor may ask a lot of questions about you and your family. Some of these questions may seem personal such as questions about your period or sexual activities, but these are a routine part of gynecological visits. If you are concerned about confidentiality, talk to your doctor before you answer so you know what remains confidential.
Typically, a general physical exam and an external genital exam are performed during your visit. At the beginning of your visit, you will have your height, weight and blood pressure checked. During the exam, your doctor will look at the vulva and check for anything out of the ordinary.
A pelvic exam is typically not performed until you are 18 years old and a Pap smear isn’t performed until you are 21 years old. Even though you might not be getting either of these tests during your first appointment, your doctor may go over them with you so you know what they are.
The doctor may want to test for sexually transmitted infections during your visit if you are sexually active. The doctor may also want to update any of your vaccinations if needed.
Don’t Forget to Ask Questions
It’s common to have a lot of questions about your health during your teenage years. Your questions may feel embarrassing, but most questions are quite common and have to do with normal parts of growing up.
Here are some topics you might want to ask your doctor about:
- Cramps, bleeding, and problems with menstrual periods
- Sex and sexuality
- Birth control
- Alcohol, drugs and smoking
- Emotional ups and downs
At Women’s Care, we believe your first gynecologist appointment is a big step in taking care of your health and a great opportunity to learn more about your body and personal wellness. We offer a wide spectrum of gynecologist services in a welcoming environment to make sure you receive the undivided attention you deserve.
Contact us if you would like to schedule an appointment.