First OB/GYN Vist for Teenager

Updated on January 12, 2010
L.R. asks from Bethlehem, PA
15 answers

What is the appropriate age for a non-sexually active teenage girl to have her first Gyn exam?

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answers from State College on

My oldest is almost 16. She's been to two different GYN's. Both times were for cysts on her ovaries. She was eventually diagnosed w/ PCOS. Anyway, neither dr did an internal exam on her because she hadn't had sex. They said it wasn't necessary and I was relieved. LOL My 1st exam was anything but pleasant. The one did, however, look at her externally. She had a man the 1st time and then a woman from the practice I go to. She's far more comfortable w/the woman.

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answers from Tampa on

Girls and boys should have both breast and genital examinations every year to evaluate growth and development. Pediatricians should begin annual reproductive health examinations at the beginning of puberty ages 9-11, including examination of genitals, to assess each individual's rate of growth and indentify any difficulty. Most girls will experience developmental indications for an internal pelvic exam. While a Pap smear is not required until age 21, she should have her first internal pelvic exam performed by her Pediatrician or Pediatric Nurse Practitioner by the age of 13. Pelvic examinations should occur before an individual becomes sexually active as part of each annual health assessment. Many conditions can be discovered early and many treatment options are available. If for any reason she is not comfortable with her pediatrician she may choose to be seen by a specialist in Adolescent Medicine or Adolescent Gynecology.



answers from Harrisburg on

I agree that the opinions will vary on this one.

I first started to have my cycle when I was 13 but didn't have my first ob/gyn visit until I was out on my own, which was 18 years old. Part of this could be that my parents were divorced, I was living with my father and I didn't like my step-mother enough at that time to talk to her about such things.

Personally, thinking back, I wish I had gone to an ob/gyn sooner. Maybe I would have been able to talk to the doctor about things relating to my cycle, sex, etc. that I couldn't talk to my parents about. I know the idea that your own daughter can't talk to you about things may be unimaginable. But, no matter how much you tell your daughter that she can talk to you about anything, there will be things that she may feel uncomfortable talking to you about. Having a doctor to talk to about such things may be helpful.



answers from Harrisburg on

I think opinions will vary. Children should have basic exams every year. I would ask the child's doctor. I have my first daughter after all these years and she's only 5. My mother never took me to the doctor, let alone for female problems. My first experience wasn't until I was 15 and didn't go well, thanks to my mother not being in the room and a poor doctor with poor bedside manners. You may ask the girl if she prefers a female doctor. That may help make it easier. I think, off hand, that a girl should go when she starts her period, or call the doc when she starts her period when a first visit should be. I've heard varying ages so you may pick an age that is appropriate to the child's needs. If she's started her period but is having very irregular cycles or pain and such, then I'd call to see about having her checked. At the end of the day, call the doctor, let them know where she is as far as periods, frequency and consistancy, and let the office tell you when is best.

K. B
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answers from Philadelphia on

By the age of 16 at the latest! Also, your definition of sexually active may be different than hers. I just read an article recently that said kids no longer think oral sex is sex. And that oral sex has become very common. Also, many kids (sadly) start having sex in middle school & the parents have NO IDEA they are doing it. Kids don't always talk to their parents, even if they have a close relationship. Finally, it would be good for her to have a relationship with a gyn BEFORE becoming sexually active, so she can feel comfortable asking about birth control Before doing anything.
Good luck.


answers from Allentown on

Hi, L.:

Call the OB-GYN office and talk to the nurse.

Good luck. D.



answers from Reading on

AS soon as she's willing to go! "Non-sexually active" won't be that way forever and it's better for her to go beforehand so she can get comfortable talking to her doctor about contraceptive for when she actually may need it.

After reading the other responses I had to edit mine. I would definitely take her before she's 18, maybe even before she's 16. You really just want to foster an "openess" about all things related to GYN issues. No matter how comfortable your step-daughter is with you I don't know how honest she would be if thinking about having sex and I'm telling you...if she's willing to go to talk to the doctor do it as soon as possible. Let her know whatever she talks about with the doctor is private and she doesn't have to tell you or her dad, of course. Also, I agree with another post that said to try and get her in with a woman, the younger the doctor the better. It's so much less intimidating for a young girl.



answers from Philadelphia on

My daughter just went through this.

If your step-daughter is not sexually active and is not having any GYN issues then they will not do a Pap Smear on her. My daughter went back in the summer to get on the pill, she has been with her boyfriend for 1 year and she is 18. At the time they didn't do a Pap Smear but did talk to her about birth control at length.

Hope this helps.



answers from Philadelphia on

I believe the standard recommendation is at 18 or the beginning of sexual activity (or, you know, right before that, if she needs to discuss birth control options).



answers from Lancaster on

I would assume after her first menstrual cycle. She could get some very accurate and reliable info regarding menstruation. As well as start her annual pap exams. Hope this helps!
Jenn P.



answers from Pittsburgh on

18 or when sexually active.


answers from Pittsburgh on

Congratulations on your marriage! :)

I was surprised to see people saying 18; up in Canada the general concensus is that a teenager starts going to the Gyn when she starts her period. IMO those guidelines that state a higher age are comparable to those that say a woman should have a Mammogram at an older age.



answers from Johnstown on

You're going to get totally mixed thoughts on this.

I started my cycle at a very early age (I was still in single digits) and was never taken to the Dr. until I turned 18 and needed to have an exam for insurance purposes. It turns out that I have a horomonal condition that could have been detected & maintained much sooner had I been to the dr. much earlier. Since my condition wasn't treated sooner, I now have a lot of health issues stemming from my condition. My OB/GYN suggests that I bring my own daughters in before they start their cycles if they can hold off on those before they turn 13. If they can't, I am to take them in as soon after they start as possible.

Going to the OB/GYN isn't necessarily about being sexually active, it's about women's health. There can be underlying health issues that can be addressed simply by a visit, especially if the child seems to be having a weight issue.

Best of luck to you and have a Happy New Year :)



answers from Philadelphia on

My girls are very close to our pediatrician so the thought has not occured to me yet. I would assume if she is having female issues i would take her. I don't see any reason if things appear normal that she cannot stay with the pediatrician. I could be wrong but i thought it was not needed until they were sexually active or having trouble. Of course by 18 i may like to find them a good ob/gyn.


answers from Reading on

18! Unless there are other issues to be dealt with.

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