As a parent, it can often feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders—particularly when it comes to decisions that affect the health and well-being of your child.
Many parents with developing daughters go back and forth deciding when to take her to an OB/GYN for the first time. But don’t worry—Cache Valley Women’s Center can help ease your worries by offering professional recommendations for these important questions.
Your Daughter’s First OB/GYN Appointment
Most girls have their first menstrual cycle between the ages of 10 and 15. The average is around 12 years old.
There’s no right age for a girl to start her period because each body is unique and on it’s own schedule. That’s why it’s important to have ongoing conversations with your daughter about her body and reproductive health. You can also help her watch for signs and encourage her to share with you when signs like breast development and vaginal discharge occur. These are common signs that her first period is on its way.
Given the average, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends girls see an OB/GYN between the ages of 13 and 15. This is particularly important if she is or plans to be sexually active or if she experiences painful or irregular periods.
The Importance of Starting Young
It’s essential for young girls to get the right healthcare from an early age to be able to develop a relationship with and become comfortable talking about her health with her doctor. It’s also normal for young girls to be nervous, embarrassed, or scared prior to their first OB/GYN appointment. But you can help by letting her know what to expect.
For example, a pelvic exam won’t likely be included in her first visit. You can also help her feel empowered by allowing her to express if she’s more comfortable with a male or female provider. Or let her choose which doctor she’d like to see. We also recommend writing down a list of questions she’d like to ask prior to her appointment.
Questions a doctor may ask at an initial appointment include when your last period was. Are you experiencing any issues with your period like heavy bleeding or pain? Are you or have you ever been sexually active? If so, are you using or seeking a form of birth control? Do you suspect you could be pregnant? Do you have any unusual vaginal discharge, itchiness, sores, or discomfort?
Explain that the answers to these questions will be confidential and without judgement. She can feel open discussing her health with an OB/GYN she trusts.
Cache Valley Women’s Center at the Lodge, OB/GYN in Logan, Utah
The caregivers at Cache Valley Women’s Center are committed to the health, comfort, and happiness of each patient. We will take care of your family as if our own for years to come. We look forward to being a part of your story.