62 answers

Is It Really Necessary for a 16 Year Old Virgin to Have a Female Exam and Pap?

My step daughter's mom has scheduled a female exam and pap. I STRONGLY disagree that this is necessary, as she is a virgin and has not even gotten close to being sexually active yet. Her periods are very regular, with fairly heavy bleeding on day one and sometimes two with heavy cramping. When I ask her if she has taken any medicine to help with cramps, she always says she hasn't and then doesn't bother (sympathy card). Her mom can be a little hypochondiac and believes that she could have endometriosis. I have researched this and it appears to be out of the question. I don't want my daughter to have this exam. Any ideas??? Please HELP! I know that ultimately, I can't do anything to stop. But, I would like to give educated feedback on the issue. Thanks!

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So What Happened?™

Thank you all for your feedback. After reading ALL of these responses, I have concluded that it may not be a bad idea. Initially, when she told me her mom had scheduled her apt, I was kind of upset. However, she and I spoke about it yesterday and come to find out, she will not be having a pap and probably not even an exam. They are going to meet with the ob and have a consult and go over her symptoms. There were a few people who responded with similar symptoms of themselves or someone they knew who DID have problems with no prior sex. So... thank you all for your opinions! I will definitely be a regular on here with questions. It is so wonderful to have a safe place to get other mom's opinions. :)

Featured Answers

It is ABSOLUTELY necessary. Cancer has nothing to do with sexual activity. Along with being able to ascertain if a woman has an STD it also confirms whether or not cancer is present. Every woman should have a pap for that reason it nothing else.

1 mom found this helpful

In medical school, we learned guidelines that recommend annual screening paps at age 18 or 6 months after the onset of sexual activity. I would recommend that she have a pelvic exam (Pap not needed) before beginning a treatment regimen for painful menses/ endometriosis, if she does indeed have that.

In wellness,
Dr. E. Mendenhall, ND

No that is very in sane, but if thats the way she thinks you cannot change the way she thinks about her daughter.Can you talk to the daughter and see what she thinks.The only way she should be having a pap is if she is sexually active and have abdominal pain.And horrible menstrual pain

More Answers

As a nurse and an educator in women's health, I think it's fantastic that her mother is taking her for her first gyn exam. The MD will asess if a pap smear and pelvic is really necessary, after they go over her symptoms with her. It is unlikely though that she has endometriosis.

If more parents took the time and the responsibility to introduce their daughters to routine health exams like paps and pelvics *before* they became sexually active - our girls would be better educated and more comfortable with their own sexual health. Additionally, this is asserting to your step daughter that her gynocological health is important. It is giving her a solid foundation with which to expect yearly exams and to take care of herself.. When we educate girls, we empower them to make good desicions. This doesn't promote promiscuity, this promotes responsibility.

I sincerely hope you do not plan to shame your step daughter because of this exam. Shame and guilt have no place in a young girls education about her own reproductive health. Shame and guilt lead to poor choices and promiscuity.

2 moms found this helpful

Though your 16-year old stepdaughter may not be sexually active now, it's still important that she gets in the habit of practicing good health habits by starting annual checkups. Remember these checkups are not only for STD testing, they are to ensure that everything is "normal" and there is no concerns for cervical cancer, etc. I think 16 is an appropriate age. And also consider the idea that although you may not think your 16-year old is sexually active, it can happen at any time and when you least expect it. Most 16-year old girls that become active don't tell their parents. It's really better to be safe than sorry, and once she has the exam she won't be so scared when the time comes that she really does need to see a gyno for STD testing and/or birth control. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

At 16 she needs to understand that this is a regular part of being a woman. Like it or not... We all hate the gyno and God, I remember when my mom took me at 16. But THere are some things girls should learn that they dont want to hear from their moms. It will be educational for her and if anything, she can learn more about the risks that being sexually active have. Her mom is doing the right thing... And plus.. how do you really know she is not sexually active.? You may be surprised....

1 mom found this helpful

While not probably necessary it is never bad to teach your child good habits early. Having regular GYN exams will help keep her healthy into adulthood. Also, there may be questions that she is uncomfortable asking either you or her mom, and it is MUCH better she get straight forward, accurate answers from a medical professional than ask her friends or try to figure things out on her own.

Just my two cents. You also mentioned that you know you can't ultimately change the situation, so even if you disagree I would be careful not to alienate your step-daughter because of a doctor's appointment.

Warmly,

E.

1 mom found this helpful

Of course it's necessary to see a doctor when you are having menstrual issues. You don't only have pelvic exams after you become sexually active. Why makes you think that this is unnecessary? Seeing a doctor is a normal part of life and if he says that she is totally fine, then that's even better. You hit the nail on the head when you said ultimately you can't do anything to stop it, and I don't think you need to give educated feedback to anyone on this issue. You have shared custody of this child with your husband but you are not her mother. Just say a prayer that the exam won't reveal any medical issues and move on with your life. Let go of the control on this one and you'll feel alot better.

1 mom found this helpful

It is ABSOLUTELY necessary. Cancer has nothing to do with sexual activity. Along with being able to ascertain if a woman has an STD it also confirms whether or not cancer is present. Every woman should have a pap for that reason it nothing else.

1 mom found this helpful

You may not agree with the reasoning of her other mom, but regardless of her sexual status or supposed symptoms, getting an exam is appropriate for her age. Getting familiar with the procedures and environment surrounding taking care of her reproductive health is one of the most important benefits. There are many women, despite their current age, who don't feel comfortable getting "checked out" and never had either the financial coverage and/or support of a family member to get proper care. I'm sure your practical disposition stems from the genuine love and concern you have for your daughter, and she is lucky to have someone to ease her mind if her other mom has the potential to startle her. But you can use this as a catalyst to strengthen the bond between you and your daughter. Even if she is not having sex, this may present an opportunity for her to explore what she is going through and help her talk about anything she may be dealing with or have questions about. It doesn't sound like there's any urgent medical problem to fix, but maybe the OBGYN will help treat her other mother as well, and confirm your opinions that everything is normal and healthy. That alone could help your daughter deflect the stress of worry and make it better for your entire family. Lastly, while you may not want this to happen, I most strongly urge you to understand your influence on your daughter's determinations. Why you feel the way you feel is valid, but please make sure what message you send to your daughter is going to better her future. You can explain to her your reasoning, while also supporting the idea of beginning the healthy and incredibly important habit of going regularly to get examined. It will establish a great medical history and enable the confidence and security needed to be a strong and independent woman for the rest of her life. Thanks for your consideration and I wish you luck!!

I know that it may seem to you that this is not neccessary for her since sheis not having sex and her periods are regular. But the exam is good for many more things than that. I have always felt that it is neccessary after a girl has her first period to start getting annual exams. I beleive that this will help in preventing any kind of problems in that region. ESPECIALLY cervical cancer. I am unfortunate enough to live in a family were cancer seems to thrive, but I have learned that it doesn't have to be something that runs in your family for it to happen to you. I think it would be good to talk with your daughter about this exam and see what she thinks it is for. It to me is like any other thing you woul ddo to maintain good health. That way if some years down the line she has an abnormal pap then the doctors will have referance points to know what her healthy range is for the things then test for. I just was hoping that you wouldn't think of it as her doing something that is not neccessary and instead think of it as a way to help her have good health in all aspects of her body. I hope that my opinion can help alittle. If it help you out to know i had my first exam when i was 9 becasue my period started when i was 8. I am now going to be 26 and over that time i have had a few abnormal paps but htey have turned out ok. But use this as a better safe than sorry point of view

Some people say not to start until you are 21 and i think that could be a good idea BUT cancer doesn't wait until you are the right age. plus if you even catch thos pre canver cells there are ways to cure it.

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