9/16/2013

Lately it seems that I have had a large number of patients with daughters “coming of age”. As a result I am recycling something I wrote a while back but may be even more pertinent today.

When should your daughter first visit the gynecologist?

I love to be a teenager’s first gynecologist.  It does not have to be a traumatic experience.  A positive first visit will ensure that she is not “ruined” as a gynecologic patient.  Even if her next several doctors in a row are rough or traumatic she will know it does no have to be that way.  My nurse and I love to teach young women “how” to have their first pelvic – what muscles to relax so that it doesn’t have to hurt.  Many of you have paid me the highest compliment by bringing your teenage daughters (some of whom I have actually delivered) to see me.  I am often asked when a teenager should first come to the gynecologist.  I feel that certainly prior to leaving for college they need to visit the gynecologist.  You can explain that they are a woman now and it is time.  If they are younger – seniors, juniors, even sophomores in high school it depends on 1) are they having any problems with frequency or severity of periods, 2) are their periods interfering with school or sports, 3) their level of maturity (some are 16 going on 13 whereas others are 15 going on 20!), and 4) are they sexually active (although this may or may not be information shared with you).  They must feel that their visit to me is private.  Some moms stay in the consult room during the intake interview.  If so, in the exam room I let them know that whatever they say is confidential, and if they want me to talk to their mom I will, but only with their permission.  When they are in the exam room we talk about sexual activity, contraception, STD’s, etc.  Let me assure all the parents out there that the young girls in my practice are very well informed – about contraception, HIV, other STD’s as well as very responsible.  In fact I often wish my 45-year old-recently-divorced patients were as knowledgeable and responsible!

 

As always, if you have any issues, comments, concerns or questions feel free to contact my office.

 

Yours in health,

Dr. Goldstein