On average, girls in the United States begin menstruation around 12 years and 9 months. Many will have their first visit to the gynecologist at age 13. Parents often wonder how soon, or even if they should take their daughter to the gynecologist. For the vast majority of these young women, they would undergo a routine check. Occasionally, some type of female health issue is discovered early. Here are a few reasons to consider taking your daughter to a female gynecologist when time for that visit comes.
Talking About “Down There”
Taking your teenager to the gynecologist may be stressful for her. Chances are your daughter is a little shy when it comes to discussing her private areas. Opting for a female gynecologist makes the idea more palatable. For one thing, a lady doctor is going to be more understanding because she is female.
The first visit is mainly about establishing a relationship with the doctor. Developing a rapport with the patient is a key factor. A female gynecologist may also have more insight about how to approach uncomfortable discussions with your daughter.
Vaccination Against HPV
Another topic of discussion between your daughter and her female gynecologist may be about the human papillomavirus (HPV), due to its association with most cervical cancers. It is a sexually transmitted infection which can be prevented through vaccination. When given at ages 11 or 12 this vaccine is one of the most effective against the virus. It is administered in two to three injections.
You may be thinking,My daughter is not sexually active so why should she get the vaccine?Like all vaccines, it is a preventive measure. When your daughter does become sexually active, she will be protected against the virus. Even though your daughter may end up with only one partner, if that one person carries the virus and gives it to your daughter, she could end with cervical cancer as a result.
Getting to Know Her Body
Kids talk a lot among themselves and a lot of misinformation is floating around. Parents often have a difficult time talking with their children about their bodies, sex and relationships. The gynecologist and your daughter do not have that same emotional attachment, so those conversations become more academic. Additionally, with a female gynecologist, your daughter is less likely to feel self-conscious when discussing these matters.
The doctor will take the time to explain what to expect and diagnose any problems that may be showing up. For example, a girl who does not begin menstruation by age 15 should be checked, especially if she has developed breasts and pubic hair. Secondary sexual characteristics begin showing in puberty, around the age of 13. If your daughter’s body is not changing she may need to be evaluated.
Discussions About “The Pill”
Generally people assume that when a female is taking the pill, it’s all about birth control; however, this is not necessarily the case. Birth control pills also act as a type of hormone therapy in the case of severe cramps or irregular periods. Heavy periods are another reason the pill may be prescribed. A female gynecologist can explain this to your daughter in a way that will put her at ease, emphasizing this is a treatment for a hormonal issue, not a pass to become sexually active.
A Female gynecologists Female
Perhaps one of the most obvious reasons to take your daughter to a female gynecologist is because the doctor is female. Some cultures would never allow a male doctor to touch a female patient. Many girls are uncomfortable with the idea of a man talking to them about intimate subjects, much less touching them in private places. A female gynecologist eliminates the gender issues and can make your daughter’s introduction to female health care less stressful.
At Cypress Women’s Center, we understand the concerns of parents and daughters around the first visit to a gynecologist. We provide comprehensive, compassionate care and deliver that care with professionalism and excellence. Call us and make an appointment today.