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What Age Should You Take Your Daughter to the Gynecologist for the First Time?

I have a 15 year old daughter, and i was thinking the rule was 18 or when they become sexually active? am i right? Because i hear moms saying its earlier now that you cant know if your kid is sexully active or not! Have they ever heard of communication and trust?? Oh my. My 15 year has a boyfriend, but ive talked to her numerous times and all that, so it isnt necessary for me to take her right? Just double checking, what do you moms think? not trying to be creepy lol.

What can I do next?

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My mom talked to me numerous times, daily, weekly, constantly. I loved and respected her, but I still had sex with my boyfriend... starting at an age that is shocking. By the time I was 15 she found out and took me and I got protected. As much as you want to believe that she isn't and won't be sexual active, try not to be oblivious. Be realistic. Communication and trust aren't in ones mind when they are making out with their boyfriends while rushing hormones take over. It happens, and when it does, they don't think, "oh my mom told me not to do this..."

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I took my Daughter at 13 NOT because she was sexually active but because at 12 she already had ovian cysts. I also have a history of problems PCOS, Endometriosis. I wanted her to feel comfotable with her and be able to talk to her, as well as me, if she had any questions. The first time I took her she did not do a pap she said that was not needed at that time. I think building a trust is very important and like Riley they do more than just paps.

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I didnt have daughters.
I didnt go till I was sexually active, that was at age 17... my stepmom recognized the signs before my mom. She had me go.
My mom and I were really close, but talking about my sex life with her was still something I could not do. I think lots of daughters are like that.

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It's an outright SCANDAL that women's health is taken so casually. My professors CONSTANTLY rail about it (male and female), and it's a soap box I wholeheartedly climb onto. ((Not seeing a gynecologist until sexually active is only one aspect of the outrage that gets discussed whenever women's health comes up, btw... but I'll just leave the rest for now. <grin> this part will be long enough. It is NOT a critisim on you, btw. It's a critisism on the hugely late 'catching up' women's health faces in a mostly male dominated field, and the miserliness of insurance companies.))

Boys have their genitals examined from day 1. But "OH NO! NOT ***GIRLS***" Heaven forbid.

Along with puberty comes many many many hormonal changes that trigger increased sebatious gland excretions (oils), change in pH, cellular changes, menstruation. All sorts of problem crop up. Untreated yeast infections and vaginosis being the most common, followed by such lovely things as folliculitis, cysts, gynecological cancers (not all gynecological cancers are caused by STDs), PID, endometriosis, dozens of various infections (vaginal or anal)... All things that are EASILY caught, and mostly easily treated by an OB/Gyn.

The idea that vaginas (et al) are only for penises and babies (aka only check when you're having sex or pregnant) is so INCREDIBLY outdated, and completely WRONG.

((From working in a women's clinic, that's one of the constant laments of the docs... how many young women think "But I thought it was SUPPOSED to be/feel like that. These are young women with chronic yeast infections, chronic vaginosis, etc... have had them for YEARS, but never 'knew', becuase they were years past having their diapers changed, and they were the only ones seeing their privates for a good 10-15 years. One gets USED to itching, burning, smell, etc. given enough years of it. The WONDER of these young women, some actually are bouncing up and down at reception, almost glowing at the news they have to share with their doc (no itching, no burning, etc.), or are out and out pissed that they never knew... is frankly astonishing. And waaaay to common (like once a week). Totally preventable. AND ***not serious***. Versus the young women that are several years into cervical cancer, or have been rendered sterile from an untreated infection.))

The things listed above is JUST a short list of things that crop up with the massive hormonal shift that is puberty.

COMPLETELY take sex and sex acts off the table and think back to the 80's for a minute:

Remember all the AIDs from toilet seats and towels and all the nonsense? Know where it CAME from? Other STDs transfer that way. A girl with herpes can VERY easy transfer the virus to a toilet seat, just by missing a bit when she sits and needing to scoot. A shared towel with a girl who has genital warts (the wart virus sloughs off on the towel). Sharing a razor learning how to shape pubic hair... ADULTS with STDs are very very careful (usually) not to spread them. Teens otoh, have a tendency NOT to take the same precautions (for various reasons). Now, of COURSE it's more common to pick up an STD from a sex act or even kissing (did you know you can get genital warts in your mouth and throat?)... but they also spread by OTHER forms of contact.

Vaginas (et al) aren't scary. They're PART of us. If we have a sore throat, we know what to do about it. Because we've been seeing the doc for years.

For most girls... they HAVEN'T been seeing a gynecologist for years. So the first time something 'goes wrong' (yeast infection at a bare minimum) it becomes this big scary ordeal.

FAR better... wait for puberty, and start going. Develop a relationship with a gynecologist. Go once a year for the 15 minute "Yep! All good here! Labs will be back in a week." and go once a year to GRIND IN the habit. Give our girls the comfort of knowing when and where to go when they NEED to. As well as someone who is a BIT more knowledgeable to ask questions than their best friend Mindy, and locker room talk.

And lets ADD sex (and sex acts) on the table.

How often do you examine your daughter's hymen? Probably never. Your daughter's gynecologist, otoh, will be looking at it once a year. ((They also retract, btw, that's how girls bleed for their period. A lot can be easily moved aside by someone who knows how... like for a simple swab test for infection)). Only ONE person, besides your daughter will know when she's had sex for SURE aside from your daughter (unless you have the rare VERY open relationship). The person looking at her hymen and vaginal canal on a regular basis.

Now.. mine broke young (athlete, that's common). And my doctor knew the FIRST time I'd had sex (not the day, but the geography changes up a bit, even with a previously broken hymen). I was mortified, but being in school and looking at pic after pic of girlie parts... yeah. It's really easy to tell.

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My mom talked to me numerous times, daily, weekly, constantly. I loved and respected her, but I still had sex with my boyfriend... starting at an age that is shocking. By the time I was 15 she found out and took me and I got protected. As much as you want to believe that she isn't and won't be sexual active, try not to be oblivious. Be realistic. Communication and trust aren't in ones mind when they are making out with their boyfriends while rushing hormones take over. It happens, and when it does, they don't think, "oh my mom told me not to do this..."

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What is your goal for having her seen by a gyno? Pap, pelvic exam, birth control options, open communication that she may not have with you, sexually transmitted infection testing?? Physicians in family practice or even Peds are quite capable of having the discussions and perform most tests. A pelvic exam is not required for many sexually transmitted infection testing - can be done by urine. Heck she can even be drug tested as well.

ACOG has the guidelines that a woman be 21 for her first pap, it changed in 2009 from 21 or three years after first intercourse which ever is sooner. I'm shocked they have backed off. Patients can also see a family practice for their paps but if it were me I would want someone that does A LOT of them and the family practice docs simply do not.

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I don't think I would rely on, "I talked to her, so everything is fine".

I have talked to my daughter numerous times, she is 6. I am taking her to the gyno when she starts puberty.
I went to the gyno when I started puberty.

The more information she has the better, the earlier she has it the better.

I don't see why anyone would NOT take their daughters to the gyno when their bodies are doing what womens bodies do.

I guess I just don't see a reason not to take her...?

I have already told my daughter that when she falls in love with someone and decides to have sex (something that 2 people who are in love with eachother do) that I would like her to come and tell me so that I can take her to get protection so that she doesn't get pregnant or sick.

And she knows how babies are made too.

**ETA What about ovarian cysts, cervical cancer, or even heavy/painful periods that the birth control pill could help? What about having another person your child feels comfortable talking to? What about treating your childs body with respect as it goes through massive hormonal and growth changes.
I see no reason to wait.
The earlier the better, puberty is when mine will go.

6 moms found this helpful

Christine W. is right on with the guidelines. My daughter is now 21 & that's what my gyne told me too.

I am close with my gynecologist. I had my annual appt & told her I want to bring in my then 16 yr old. I didn't think she was sexually active. She was home all the time, never went anywhere & just starting seeing a boy. My reason was I wanted the Dr to talk to her about being sexually safe & responsible. I also wanted the Dr to tell my daughter what is entailed in a pap etc. I also wanted my daughter to have a safe place to go & someone that she could feel comfortable with.

I went into the appointment initially with my daughter then I told my daughter that I wanted her to ask the Dr questions without me in the room that she may not feel comfortable asking me & my goal was that she could go see this Dr anytime she felt necessary. The Dr had daughters slightly older than mine so she understood my goals. Again I didn't feel like my daughter was having sex but I won't be naive that it could happen anytime whether it be consensual or not. She & I have open lines of communication but when it comes down to it she may get very nervous & decided not to come to me, so I wanted her to have a *safe* place to go.

Talk to your gyne.

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I think it should start at 14 (basically freshman in high school). In my experience, your teen isn't going to come to you and say "I'm having sex, please make me an appointment for the gyno" especially if you've talked about it numeous times and made any displeasure at the idea known. Many teens have sex. Very few parents actually think/know their teen is having sex. Do the math.

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My mom never took me. I went on my own when I was 17 (to PP) to get on the pill.

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You are the exception if you 15 year old daughter can come to you when she becomes sexually active. I hope to have that relationship with my daughter as well, but for a lot of parents, that conversation just doesn't happen. If my daughter is anything like me and the other women in our family, she will be going when she starts menstrating. The women in my family have very painful and heavy periods. If she doesn't have bad periods, we will start when she has a steady boyfriend or 16. Even if we do have the communication I hope for, there are things a doctor can tell her that she just won't want to hear from her mom about. It's not all about sex for me, it about teaching my daughter to be aware of her body and all other women's health issues that I think are better addressed by a gynocologist as opposed to a pediatrician.

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I thought is was 17 or sexually active, but it can't HURT to take her now.

Honestly, it might be less of an issue if you take to now so that she already knows the doctor and has the experience of going and doesn't have to muster up the strength to come TELL you she needs an appointment (not that she won't, but this might take the edge off).

It's not like she's 9 or something. Assuming she's through puberty, 15 is a perfectly normal age to start going if she wants to.

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I took my Daughter at 13 NOT because she was sexually active but because at 12 she already had ovian cysts. I also have a history of problems PCOS, Endometriosis. I wanted her to feel comfotable with her and be able to talk to her, as well as me, if she had any questions. The first time I took her she did not do a pap she said that was not needed at that time. I think building a trust is very important and like Riley they do more than just paps.

3 moms found this helpful

I didnt have daughters.
I didnt go till I was sexually active, that was at age 17... my stepmom recognized the signs before my mom. She had me go.
My mom and I were really close, but talking about my sex life with her was still something I could not do. I think lots of daughters are like that.

3 moms found this helpful

My first visit to the gyno was when I was 13. I had chronic yeast infections and, back then, the solution was prescription only, so I was there a lot. My mom started me on annuals at that point since I was going anyway. By the time I became sexually active, I was able to make my own appointment to see the gyno for birth control and handle the situation all by myself. LOL..my gyno was not pleased with my request, but I think that had more to do with the fact that he delivered me. My request simply made him feel old!

Even though my mom and I had a very open and honest relationship when it came to sex, I was glad that she took me to my first few appointments and "showed me the ropes," as it were. If the boyfriend is a serious one, you showing her how to take adult responsibility about her sexual health may make it easier for her to actually do so. Talking about something and doing it are two very different things. And, yes, 15 seems young, but since I have students who are that age and mothers already, I'm not convinced there's such a thing as too early.

I've always subscribed to the belief that either *I* take the lead in teaching my kids about good health (sexual or otherwise) or someone else will...and I may not like what "someone else" may teach.

And, just for the record, many of my students-who-are-mothers had great relationships with their moms, lots of communication and trust. Unfortunately, you're not in the room when hormones and passion runs high to remind your daughter of all her good knowledge and decision making skills. Food for thought...

Good luck.

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I would take my daughter to a gyno by the time she was 15 (she's 9 now). Or make sure that the Ped or GP she was seeing was capable of handling this area, too, and that she was comfortable talking with them. Communication and trust are great but no guarantee that they will tell you BEFORE they become sexually active.

[Cut to scene in back seat of car..."Wait Sweetie, hold it right there...I need to tell my mom first...] Sorry, not the way it happens. I raised two kids into their 20s with open communication and trust...and birth control and protection available because they both became sexually active at age 15.

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I would take her now. I think that around 14-16 is the perfect time to go b/c girls have usually had their periods for a few years, may have some questions and are starting to have feelings for and/or date boys. Even if you're talking to her about birth control, etc. hearing the same information from a doctor is a good idea, a really important idea actually. I'm not saying she is having sex but maybe she's thinking about it, maybe she is and maybe she won't for a long time, but as a woman, a gynocologist is a really important resource to have no matter what stage of life we're in!

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I personally went myself once I was active at 16. I knew through school and prior doctors appointments that I should go. I also though was on acutane at 14 for a year so I was actually already on birth control since I had to be on it for that plus it help out my cramps so much I just never stopped. But I made sure to go every year for my annual to keep on top of everything.
Just talk to your daughter tell her your wish's of her not having sex or whatever it may be but just suggest that if she is active or when she does become active that she makes an appointment and if she needs you for a ride that you won't lecture or go all mama on her. I know I would have not gone for fear of my mom or dad for that matter. It's also important because once she is active HPV is out there and scary.

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Women should start seeing their gynecologist at least once every year when they turn 18 years old, or when they start being sexually active.

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Between ages 13 and 15. My mom took me when I was 14. It is much easier to ask questions of a doctor you have been seeing for a few years than one you have just met at age 18 when your mom thinks you need to talk to her about birth control. Starting in early high school/middle school makes it an annual routine, kind of like going to the ophthalmologist and dentist every year. So more likely to continue than if it just a 'one time' trauma.

I am amazed at the number of people who believe that their child would never have sex because they know it is 'wrong' in their household. Or that somehow they would know before their child decided to have sex.

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I think it varies. I was in college and went on my own. My sister was in HS.

My niece's first cycle was when she was 10 and some girls are even younger. I would not go by that. An average 5th grader doesn't need more than her pediatrician can provide.

If you are concerned, speak to both your daughter and her pediatrician and i if you do take her before she's 18, make sure that any GYN you choose is someone who is good with adolescents. Find out what services your family doctor or her pediatrician already provide.

Taking your DD to the GYN could be because her period is bad, or she has a boyfriend or any number of reasons, but don't take her just because you are afraid. Make an informed and calm decision.

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Our doctor told us 18 unless she was sexually active earlier.

I told her she would not even have to tell me, she could do on her own if she wanted.

If you think she needs to go, take her.

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My daughter was 13 - yes VERY young - but she had things going on that were not typical for a 13 year old.

She didn't go back again until she was 16 or 17.

The "talk" goes on all the time - it's not just one conversation. It's mentioning things when you see a commercial or a movie....

I think it's important when they first start their periods that they go and get checked out. but this is ME. you have to do what makes you feel comfortable and work for you.

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For starters, thank goodness, the communication between my daughter and myself has always been wee open from day 1. It's just something I felt was needed since I had a mom who was prudish and I swore if I ever had a child I would be upfront and open no matter what.

That said, with now 16 yr old daughter, I am quite proud to say we talk about everything. She knows I will not judge her but guide her.

As far as a gyno visit. My daughter has a steady bf and a pedi she is quite comfortable with who can if needed provide a gyno exam. That's why I chose a female pedi from the start... Just in case my daughter could not talk to me, I wanted a Dr she knew she could trust.

I don't see a need ( for our family) for a gyno visit at this point. Communication is wide open, daughter know all about what happens if she chooses sex. Plus she knows a baby would throw a wrench in her educational plans.

She has a friend (18) with a 2 yr old daughter and sees how early pregnancy impacts your life forever.

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I think right about the time of her first menstrual cycle. But I could be wrong. Ask her pediatrician.

Talk to her about birth control and what it means to have an intimate relationship and warn her about unwanted pregnancies.. I am sure you have had this conversation with her already... and talk about STD's, show her pictures if you have to to get your point across.

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I would set up an appointment right away. Even if she is not having sex. She needs to meet the doctor, establish a decent relationship with her, learn from her and know that she can always come to you to talk, but if for some reason she feels she can't that she can call and make an appointment with the doctor and she will be allowed to have a private patient/doctor visit where she can discuss whatever she needs to disucuss to keep her healthy and not pregnant. I have talked to my girls since they were very young about my values, that being together with another person is a special time, but you can get very sick(std's) that include a lifetime worth of consequences(babies aren't the only thing that does that) as a disease or illness can impact how they are able to live the rest of their life including the ability to ever have a baby when they decide the time is right, the ability to be close just because there is a current outbreak that is uncurable and they must wait til it's over. Also that other thing that lasts a lifetime while cute and loveable takes a life and changes it forever and may pre-empt a dream, a relationship or a night out with friends or a dorm party. So yes take her so she can get a second adults professional point of view and also set up an Aunt or another adult loved by her as a second person to go to just in case so she always has someone to go to whether she is uncomfortable with you or something(god forbid) happens to you. Give her the tools for life.

Updated

I would set up an appointment right away. Even if she is not having sex. She needs to meet the doctor, establish a decent relationship with her, learn from her and know that she can always come to you to talk, but if for some reason she feels she can't that she can call and make an appointment with the doctor and she will be allowed to have a private patient/doctor visit where she can discuss whatever she needs to disucuss to keep her healthy and not pregnant. I have talked to my girls since they were very young about my values, that being together with another person is a special time, but you can get very sick(std's) that include a lifetime worth of consequences(babies aren't the only thing that does that) as a disease or illness can impact how they are able to live the rest of their life including the ability to ever have a baby when they decide the time is right, the ability to be close just because there is a current outbreak that is uncurable and they must wait til it's over. Also that other thing that lasts a lifetime while cute and loveable takes a life and changes it forever and may pre-empt a dream, a relationship or a night out with friends or a dorm party. So yes take her so she can get a second adults professional point of view and also set up an Aunt or another adult loved by her as a second person to go to just in case so she always has someone to go to whether she is uncomfortable with you or something(god forbid) happens to you. Give her the tools for life.

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I think what you said it right, but call the dr and see what they say. Also, before you go, I'd ask her if she minds if it's a male or female. I've never had a female gyno, but it might make her more comfortable.

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Most parents say and believe, "not my kid". All parents can't be right about that with the increase of sexually active kids. Most kids don't consider oral sex sex. Go figure. Long story short. You should probably take her just so she is familiar. The full exam doesn't have to happen but there are things the doc can check out and should.

I know a few girls that had some form of something from not having vaginal sex but other types of sex. Not cute but they would have been better served had their mom's taken them instead of going to a clinic.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter isn't that old yet so I have no experience with her having boyfriends, etc. but I did ask my gynecologist this question not too long ago. He said 18 is a good age for a first exam unless your daughter is planning to be sexually active before then. If she wants birth control pills or some other forms of birth control, she will need to have an exam first. You could check with your doctor. If he/she is open to just meeting your daughter and discussing birth control, STDs, etc. that may not be a bad idea if you think that would be helpful to your daughter. Good Luck! I am so not looking forward to all of that :)

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Your daughter shouldn't be sexually active. You should wait until she's an adult. Good luck!

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I went when I was 18 years old. However, I was so nerved up about it, she could not perform the exam on me. I didn't have a real exam til I was pregnant with my son at 24! Needless to say I was fine. However, I would think if they were sexually active, they would definetly need to get a yearly pap exam. Or anytime they are having any issues in that area for sure.

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You should take her, she will never ask to go.
I went by myself to get the pill after a friend got pregnant at 16.
We went together to PP, it was something a mom should have done with her but she was too scared to tell.

Even if she is a great kid & is not having sex, there are probably lots of kids around her that are.

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I didn't go until I was 21 about a month before I got married. There really is no reason to go until you are having sex or if there might be a problem in that department. I was a vrigin, so I didn't really need to go before then. 15 does seem a little young to me unless she is having sex.

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Ok, so maybe I need some education. If your daughter is not sexually active, what will they do to/for her at a gynecologist appt? My gynecological experience almost always involves a speculum, and I would think that would be a pretty painful experience for someone who is not sexually active. It was for my sister.

Unless you know for sure that your daughter is having sex, I say that you can probably not worry about it at this age.

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I would take her. I was sexually active (unfortunately) WAY BEFORE my mom knew. The first time I went was by myself in college at the clinic on campus because I was afraid I was pregnant. I was a basket case. The nurses were considering sending me to a psych ward, I think. I really wish my mom and I had been able to talk about body and sex stuff. I didn't even tell her when I got my period. :( I'm sorry, Mom.

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I'm not sure on the exact years. I went for the first time when I was 16 and only because my mom THOUGHT that I was sexually active. I ended up admitting that I was and now go every year since. However, a lot of girls I know didn't go for the first time till they were 18 and in college. I do have two friends who have been diagnosed with cervical cancer by age 21 so I would definitely start having her see someone by 18 just for this purpose. I think if there isn't a history and your not on birth control, she only has to go for the test every three years or something. I would ask the pediatrician for sure.

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I'm far away from it with my own daughter (she's 7) but I think I went freshman year in college for the first time, so 18. But I think there are many variables to tell you whether or not it's time -- does she want to go? Does she understand the difference between a general practitioner, a pediatrician and an OB/GYN? Have you talked to her about what kind of exam they give at the GYN office? Does she have a primary care doctor she trusts, who would refer her to one? Does she talk openly with you about sex, and whether or not she's having it? Do they have access to condoms? Do you want her to have access to the pill? Lots of yeses-- go ahead and schedule her. If not, cross some of these discussions and thoughts off first...

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My daughter's gynecologist said that there is no need to go to a gynecologist until a girl becomes sexually active. I believe in communication and trust. As long as you have open communication with your daughter I suggest there is no need to take her. Do let her know that if she wants to talk with a doctor about anything she can make an appointment or you'll make an appointment for her.

My daughter's pediatrician talked with her about safe sex and birth control during a regular exam.

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I went for the first time when I was pregnant with number 1.
My 16 yo sees a family practioner, my 14 yo still sees the pediatrician. Personally I do not feel the need to take them to a OB/GYN. Plus we would need a referral and a darn good reason.
And I don't even see one anymore. My PCM does my paps and mammos.

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Medical recommendations are at college age or when she becomes sexually active, whichever comes first. My daughter is 16 and not sexually active yet. Yes, I do believe mine would tell me, because while she knows I would prefer that she wait for the maturity that comes with being colllege aged, she knows would not punish her, would not tell her father and would not question her. I would simply take her to my midwife to be sure that she has the right and healthiest protection from disease, and the correct screenings if needed. Talking is not the same as protection. She goes to the GYN or midwife for screenings and birth control. Are you sure that she would come to you if she needed that? I also told my daughter that she could go to my niece (who I checked with first and is an adult in her early 30's) if she needed anything like that and was not comfortable telling me. You might want to ask a younger female relative or family friend who your daughter is close with for the same deal :) I was that cool younger relative when my same niece was a teenager

As for the age being earlier, when could you ever tell for sure if your kid is sexually active? This is not a new thing. I am in my mid 40's and plenty of girls were sexually active when I was a teen, and I'm sure many of their parents did not know.

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My suggestion is to go to a midwife, not a gyno. They seem less "scary" for the first few times (hey, I STILL prefer midwives over gynos, six kids later!). There really is no need to take her until she's sexually active. I didn't go until after I was married (wasn't sexually active 'till the wedding night). Most every midwife or gyno will tell you an exam isn't necessary until they're sexually active.

That said, at 18 I would still take her to see one even if she isn't active. Not for a full exam, but most midwives (not sure about gynos) are willing to do "half exams". They just palpate the breasts and through the abdomen to check for abnormalities, and talk with the girl. Pants never even come off.

Hope this helps!

I saw a gynecologist when I was 16, but not because I was sexually active. I was having incredibly painful periods. I plan on taking my daughter when her pediatrician suggests it's time (probably around her first period). Regardless of sexual activity it's a good self-care practice to establish.

Id take her now, personally i will probably take my daughter to the gyno when she is around 13 or so just to make sure everything is okay down there once she starts her period

I think when they are 16 . Its better to go earlier. I never went to one until I was pregnant and I was 29 I was so scared if I could change it I would have went at 16.

I would take her. For one, most kids will not tell mom they have had sex, or are thinking about it, even if mom thinks they will. My mom took me at age 14, I had been sexually active for a year at that point, as had most of my friends. Besides, it is good for them to start getting check ups once menstruation has started anyways.

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