Should the Pediatrician Be Checking "Down There" at Yearly Check-ups?

Updated on January 22, 2016
S.M. asks from Commerce, TX
10 answers

My daughters' pediatrician hasn't checked down there since they were infants and I've always assumed that's how every pediatrician does it, but I was talking to my sister the other day and she told me that her son's pediatrician does a quick check at every yearly visit. Which is more normal?

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answers from San Francisco on

Are you kidding? What kind of legit doc doesn't take care of the whole body? Get a new one.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Buffalo on

A pediatrician checks their whole body, p****** p**** and all. Some kids go through early puberty and there are ways to treat that. If they don't look, they wouldn't be able to diagnose it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

How would you know? If your daughters are teenagers, their exams and conversation with their doctor are private.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Wow. (sorry, my thinking is a bit woozie - just had a root canal yesterday and the pain meds are working but leaving me with a fuzzy brain for right now).
I Googled it and found something that explains what the doctor checks for at every exam from birth through age 21 years.

This link should be handy to bookmark for all future questions regarding what should be going on at any given pediatric general examination.

Let's see.
Your kids are 14 and 17? Exams are pretty much the same for both those ages.

For 14 yr old:

For 17 yr old:

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Your kids' health is your concern. Ask questions. There was a whole bunch of pediatrician checking questions a while back on just this thing - lots of good answers if you search.

B's answer is excellent. Educate yourself and talk to your pediatrician. There are different ones out there if you're not satisfied.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I know this isn't your question, but I'm wondering how you know. At these ages, your girls should be talking to their doctor in privacy, so that they can ask questions and have conversations that they might be embarrassed to have with you in the room.

For the 17 year old, it's kind-of a moot point now, because at her next birthday, she should graduate to an annual appointment with a gynecologist and a physical with a general internal medicine doctor.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I am surprised by some of the other responses. Our ped has not checked my now teens since they were 7 or 8. At their check ups, I go with them for the general discussion, we talk about any emotional issues they have had, their monthly cycles, etc. Then I leave and they have their exam. However, they have not had a pelvic exam yet. They doc sees no reason for it based on discussions with the girls. My son, also 16, just started have the genital exam again just to make sure for hernias etc. Otherwise, not since he was 7 or 8. My 7 yr old and 4 yr old do get checked at their exams.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Please get a new pediatrician, now. Interview a few and be clear that you have teen girls and are seeking a doctor who will be professional and frank with them about genital health. Explain that your current doctor has failed to do any genital exams for many years. That's just bad practice.

Your daughters are both teens, one an older teen, and should have been getting genital checks every single year. The fact that your doctor does not do this screams the question: What else isn't the doctor doing that is standard procedure? New doctor, now.

Does your current pediatrician at least ask your girls about their periods? Whether they get cramps a lot, or get stressed badly at that time, or have very heavy flows, are they regular or irregular (which is normal for many teens), and so on? The doctor should know if they are having them and what their periods are like for them. Do you know if that's been discussed at their annual examinations? It should have been and their records should show what they report.

I have a 14-year-old daughter too and her ped. asks her about these things and does a genital exam every year.

I thought that maybe the reference to "down there" was just your being delicate in an online forum, but that plus the fact that you weren't sure if teen girls should be getting genital checks by the pediatrician made me wonder if they have been talked to much about things like periods, genital health, sex and relationships etc. If so -- that's great. If not, it's already past time.

Your older daughter is close to the age for her first gynecological exam. My ob/gyn said she advises girls (unless they're sexually active really young) to get their first exam any time between when they are heading to college and about age 21, depending greatly on the girl and her lifestyle. My kid will get her first before college so we have a baseline for future exams and so she's used to the idea and will not hesitate to see a gynecologist when away at college if she needs to see one. If you like your own gyn., talk about when he or she would advise your daughter coming in for that first exam.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

They have always done a quick check and up until puberty I would assume this would be the norm. I say until puberty because once girls start needing paps they should be doing those exams with the gynecologist, not a pediatrician. Most kids don't know who to tell if something is not right.



answers from Washington DC on

Are you that person who is overly concerned about children's genitalia?

If your daughters are honestly 14 and 17 per your other question, then really they should be discussing their own genitals with their own doctor, and probably without you in the room. That's what having a nurse in the room is for.

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