By what age one should start visiting a gynecologist?
As a parent, when a kid needs to start dental checkups or visit a clinic for regular health checkups is inevitably known. But when it comes to a girl, many parents don’t realize the approximate age for a first gynecologist visit.
A young girl has special needs. Although a pediatrician can provide general care it needs a specialist geared towards specific issues, who can talk and examine sensitive issues and topics like menstruation, ovarian cysts, reproductive health, pregnancy, and mental health.
So, when to start visiting a gynecologist?
Generally, a girl visits a gynecologist when she has medical issues or questions. Even if there are no concerns, 9 to 15 is the age when a girl’s body is changing, while 21 is the age when women are recommended to start seeing a gynecologist for routine Pap smears and pelvic exams. Here are a few factors to consider to decide on that First Visit to a gynecologist.
1. Age of 10-18 years
A female between the age of 10 to 18 can generally see a family doctor. However, there are some instances where it’s appropriate for young girls to visit a gynecologist when it comes to reproductive health concerns. Principally, 12 to 13 is the age when the menstrual period begins, but if the first period doesn’t fall into this window, or if her periods remain irregular after more than a year or two, a visit to the gynecologist is recommended to check for any hormone imbalance. Moreover, for girls above the age of 12 years, it is important to discuss any issue concerning sensitization about menstrual hygiene to maintain good menstrual health.
Besides that, other important issues to discuss with a gynecologist are:
- Reproductive health
- Adolescent changes
- Personal hygiene
- Painful menstrual cycles
- Delayed puberty
2. Between the age of 21 and 29
By the age of 18 to 21, a woman should begin seeing a gynecologist once a year. During these regular visits, the physician evaluates key aspects of a patient’s health, including her weight and blood pressure. The gynecologist also serves as the right expertise to discuss contraception and other reproductive concerns. Around the age of 18, many gynecologists would talk about the increased risk of breast cancer and breast lumps and thereby help in increased awareness about self-breast examination for early detection of lumps. Around the age of 21, Pap tests begin, which are performed to examine the chance of cervical cancer, while sexually active patients are given information on STI testing and birth control methods.
How important is it to visit a gynecologist?
Hopefully, the article helped you to get a better idea at what age one should start visiting a gynecologist. However, It is advised to consult a gynecologist at least once a year to perceive the importance of genital health, the right education about the reproductive system, and resources to stay healthy starting from teens and throughout life. Getting your daughter to visit a gynecologist can help her if she has any questions regarding her body. Moreover, visiting a gynecologist starting from a young age can help in the establishment of a relationship of your daughter with a gynecologist so that she always has access to an expert’s recommendation.