If you’re reading this, it might be because your mom is making you go to the gynecologist. This, no doubt, can sound scary, embarrassing and possibly unnecessary. As the well woman providers here at All About Women, we’re here to promise you that we are nothing to be afraid of!
In fact, we’re excited that you’re coming in. Taking charge of your own health is an important step in becoming an adult. To help you feel more at ease, we’re happy to answer some questions you might be having about your upcoming visit:
When Do I Need My First Visit?
You may be surprised to learn that a first gynecology appointment is recommended around the age of 13 to 15. There are many important reasons to have your first checkup during your teen years that we’ll discuss later. Even if you don’t come in as early as 13, it’s a good idea to come in before you become sexually active.
Who Will Perform My Well Woman Checkup?
At All About Women, you will see either a doctor or a certified nurse midwife (CNM). The doctors, called gynecologists, have specialized education and training in women’s healthcare. CNMs are advanced register nurses who have trained to care for women at all ages.
While most of our team members who perform annual exams are women, you can certainly ensure one by asking to see a female provider!
Why Do I Need a Well Woman Visit Now?
A gynecology appointment in your teens is a good opportunity for you to learn more about yourself. Your gynecologist will talk to you about:
- The development of your body and any problems you might be having.
- Your self-confidence, body image, and weight management.
- Immunizations you may need, such as the HPV vaccine.
- Safe sex practices and contraception.
You will also have the opportunity to ask your gynecologist any questions you may have about contraception, personal hygiene, or anything else. It may feel awkward and embarrassing to you at first, but remember that this is your doctor’s line of work and it won’t seem strange to her at all. Your well woman care provider wants to make sure that you feel empowered and educated about your own health.
What Will the Doctor Ask Me?
Your doctor will ask you some questions that will feel very personal; but know that your relationship with your doctor is confidential and that it’s important for you to answer honestly so that your doctor can properly help you with problems now or later on in life. You will be asked:
- When you started your first period.
- When your last period was, how long it lasted, and how heavy or light it was.
- If you’re sexually active and, if so, at what age you began activity
- What type of birth control and safe sex practices you use if you’re sexually active.
Will I receive a Pelvic Exam?
Pelvic exams don’t usually begin until you are age 21. You may need a pelvic exam, though if you have any pelvic pain, a urinary tract infection, painful periods, or if you choose certain types of birth control.
At Gainesville’s All About Women, our gynecologists and midwives are here to help you take charge of your own healthcare. We’re looking forward to meeting you! Contact us to schedule your well woman exam today…
If, in the meantime, you have questions about different types of birth control or problems you might be having, like unusual periods, check out our Knowledge Center to learn more.
We’ll see you soon!