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First Gynecological Exam

Q: What's the rule for taking my teenage daughter for her first visit to the gynecologist? Should I wait until she has a problem, is age 18, or is sexually active?

Concerned Mom

Dr. Donnica:
Basically any or all of the above, although I would replace the "sexually active" with "even thinking about being sexually active." Also, if your daughter is going to college before she turns 18, a visit before going to college is a good idea. If she's not 18/not yet sexually active/has no problems, the first gyn exam does not necessarily have to include an internal exam. It's a good time to establish rapport, talk about general gyn health/breast exams/preventive issues (contraceptive and STD), etc. And even if you have the best mother-daughter relationship on the planet and talk freely about everything, this is a solo visit. If you take her, you sit in the waiting room and read a magazine. The reason is so that she establishes an independent relationship and if there ever is a time when she wants to speak freely with her gyn, she doesn't have to ask you not to join her.

Best regards,
Donnica Moore MD

Created: 2/8/2003  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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