ACOG recommends that your first visit to a gynaecologist should be at the age of 13- 15 yrs.
It is a smart thinking to understand and have a clear idea why you are visiting a gynaec. So, here are some things which you should know when you fix your first appointment. -
1) You should discuss about your period issues like irregular periods, painful periods, amount of flow during periods; acne, weight, sex (vaginal, oral or anal), birth control options, testing for STIs (Sexualy transmitted infections ), alcohol, smoking & mood changes. Concern about confidentiality is one thing which might bother you, so, you can discuss it with clearly with your doctor before you answer any questions. Much of the information you share can be kept confidential.
2) You should be aware of your personal and family medical history like if any illness you had in past, any surgery or any illnesses which run in your family.
3) The doctor will be performing General physical examination regardless of the age which includes your weight, height, BMI and blood pressure.
Pelvic examination to check your external and internal reproductive organs will be performed if you're sexually active, get STDs checked or have abnormal or painful periods. That includes -
i) Looking at the vulva
ii) Looking at the vagina & cervix with an instrument called speculum
iii) Checking the internal organs with gloved hand
4) If you’re older than 21 yrs, pelvic examination and Pap test is recommended. Pap test is the screening for cervical cancer which all sexually active females should get it done every 3 years. A swab is taken from cervix and sent to laboratory for testing (do not stress about it although!).
5) Breast examination will be done and you will be taught to do self breast examination, even though young women have a low breast-cancer risk.
6) Vaccinations or immunizations will be discussed to protect you against certain diseases. The following vaccines are given to all young women aged 11–18 years on a routine basis:-
Tetanus–diphtheria–pertussis (Tdap) booster ( if not taken earlier )
Human papillomavirus vaccine
Meningococcal vaccine (if not taken earlier)
Influenza vaccine (yearly)
Special vaccines which can be given if indicated or if not taken earlier includes -
Hepatitis A virus vaccine
7) Making good lifestyle choices is the need of the hour so that you can be strong and healthy for years to come:-
Maintain a healthy weight by eating a well-balanced diet.
Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, and using illegal drugs.
Birth control measures
Protect yourself from STIs by using a latex condom. Know your partners and limit their number.
Keep up with routine exams, tests, and immunizations.
8) Consider scheduling your next appointment before you leave.