There is no specific age at which you are required to visit an OB/GYN, but the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that girls first see a gynecologist when they’re between the ages of 13 and 15. More than likely, they will not need a pelvic exam during their first visit. The gynecologist will just do a regular health exam and take the rest of the time to educate the patient on women’s health and development. Annual pap tests and pelvic exams are not recommended until the age of 21. If you have not seen an OB/GYN before, here are some guidelines for when you should book you first appointment:
If you are sexually active. Once you are sexually active, it is important to see a gynecologist to screen for STDs, as well as ovarian and cervical cancers.
If you have missed your period or your period has changed. Every woman is different, but if you have missed your period or if your period has changed, it is important to visit an OB/GYN to rule out any potential health issues.
If you are experiencing pain. Some cramps are normal during your period, but extreme pain that interrupts your regular activities is not. You may want to discuss this and your options to resolve the pain with a gynecologist.
Aside from irregular health patterns or concerns, it important to see a gynecologist for your overall health. The first part to any OB/GYN visit is a general physical examination, including standard vitals, BMI, and making an assessment of the patient’s overall health. Furthermore, the sooner you visit an OB/GYN, the sooner you can start to build that relationship and trust, which is crucial going forward.
We are currently accepting new patients at our Brentwood OB/GYN practice and are ready to help with any concerns you may have. Call us today at 615.690.6600.