Puberty is the big milestone we expect to shepherd our daughters through, and then, we hope nature takes its course and life becomes status quo. We keep up on our children’s dental exams, well check up exams, eye exams, but we rarely consider the importance of gynecological exams.
A specialist from Yale Medicine recommends young women have their first exam with a gynecologist between the ages of 13-15. This is a time when young women are developing at a rapid rate and can experience anything from heavy menstrual bleeding to infections, even hurdles with sexual development. Having a trusted gynecologist is important to add to the team of doctors who keep our young children healthy.
When should you send your teen for a check up? Here are some basic guidelines…
- Irregular Periods- While it can be normal for a young teen to experience irregular periods when their cycle first starts, but if irregularity remains after a year or two, rather than an expected pattern, you should see a gynecologist.
- Hormone Imbalances are becoming increasingly common. The world we live in has so many endocrine disrupters that can wreak havoc on hormones. Heavy periods, hair loss, facial hair, headaches are just a few of the symptoms that will tip you off there could be a hormone issue.
- PMS with severe cramping, moodiness and other extreme symptoms of PMS is another good reason to send your teen for a check up.
- Education is another good reason to schedule an appointment for your teen. Having correct information on topics such as puberty, sexually transmitted diseases, and preventing pregnancy are just a few of the critical pieces of knowledge.
A lot of problems can be avoided or treated early if a baseline has been established; things like endometriosis, or PCOS. A young woman may not see a visit to a gynecologist as a priority but as she matures, she will see the wisdom that comes with knowledge.
At Madison Women’s Clinic, each one of our providers is compassionate and kind. We have a good match for you, in any of our doctors, nurse practitioners and midwife. Give us a call today and let us help you navigate these important years with your young adult.