Riverview Physicians for Women

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439 Jennick Drive, Colonial Heights, Virginia 23834 View Location

Adolescence

Our patients frequently ask, "When does my daughter need to have her first gynecologic examination?" The official American College of Obestetricians and Gynecologists answer is "at 13-15 years of age". We disagree with this blanket recommendation and feel that a girl's first visit should be before she becomes sexually active, or if she is having problems, or at 21 years of age when her first PAP smear is due. It is important to know that most girls' first periods tend to be irregular and can be heavy. If, however, she has significant pain not adequately relieved by over the counter ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc) or naproxen (Aleve), or if her menstrual flow saturates more than 10 pads in 24 hours, she should see a gynecologist.

All girls and boys should have immunizations, including human papillomavirus, and hepatitis A and B virus. The HPV immunization should be given between 9-26 years of age.

Once sexually active, adolescents should be tested for the sexually transmitted diseases gonorrhea and chlamydia annually and after being sexually active with a new partner for 6 weeks, until age 25. While this recommendation is medically sound, insurance (including Medicaid) may not cover it. PAP smears are not necessary until age 21.

As adults, we remember how awkward the teenage years were for us and as parents we realize they are even more so for today's teens. We provide this link as a source of helpful information for you and your daughter.