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A girl’s first gynecological visit



Dr. Obosa Osawe of Health Quest Medical Practice discusses taking your daughter to the gynecologist



Dr. Obosa Osawe, Health Quest Medical PracticeIt seems like just yesterday the doctor placed your little girl in your arms for the first time. Now, you're trying your best to halt time as you prepare for your daughter's first gynecologist appointment. It's only natural for your daughter to be anxious about her first gynecological appointment. Dr. Obosa Osawe, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist at Health Quest Medical Practice, shares insights on how to prepare for your daughter’s appointment with a gynecologist.

 

At what age should I take my daughter to the gynecologist for the first time?

According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, young women should have their first visit between the ages of 13 and 15. “However, as soon as your daughter becomes sexually active, she should begin visiting the gynecologist regularly,” says Dr. Osawe. You may also want to push up your daughter's first gynecological appointment if she notices any abnormalities like excessively heavy periods, debilitating cramps, reoccurring yeast infections, or lack of pubertal changes by the age of 14. “By the age of 21, your daughter should be seeing a gynecologist regularly,” says Dr. Osawe.

 

What does the first visit to the OB/GYN involve?

According to Dr. Osawe, your daughter's first appointment will usually last a half hour. “We generally start off by discussing your daughter's health history, reproductive health, and sexually transmitted diseases,” says Dr. Osawe. “Depending on the age of the patient, we may also discuss and teach the proper way to perform self breast exams, when to begin pap smears, and talk about contraception choices.” The first appointment may end with an external genital exam or a pelvic exam if the patient is sexually active.

 

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What do parents need to know before bringing their daughters in for the first visit?

Some women dread their own gynecological appointments and they may worry their daughter will have a traumatic experience, but it's important to act as your daughter's health advocate and put any fears she may have at ease. “The most important thing to remember for this first appointment is to talk to your daughter beforehand to see if she wants you in the exam room or not,” says Dr. Osawe. “Usually teens open up more when their parents are not in the room – that's when I can really figure out what's going on, not what mom feels is going on.”

 

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What can parents do to ease their daughter’s nerves before the first visit?

Reassurance and candor are the keys to easing your daughter’s fears before her first visit. “Before the appointment, sit down with your daughter to explain exactly what will happen at the appointment, then let her know that the gynecologist will never do something she is not comfortable with,” say Dr. Osawe. “It's also important to be honest with her and let her know that it's not the most comfortable exam, but it's extremely important and nothing that she can't handle.”



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Obosa Osawe, Board Certified OBGYN, sees patients in Health Quest Medical Practice’s Poughkeepsie and Fishkill offices. She delivers at Vassar Brothers Medical Center and is certified in minimally invasive daVinci Robotic Surgery.





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