Going to the gynecologist for the first time can be a frightening experience for any young woman. Even if your daughter girl is not sexually active, she should see a gynecologist between the ages of 13 and 15 to make sure her reproductive health is normal. Preparing your daughter for her first gynecological exam is a great way to make the experience less uncomfortable. Here are things you can do to prepare her for her first visit.
Let her choose her doctor
Your daughter may be uncomfortable going to a male gynecologist, or want to choose one that her friends go to. If your insurance and financial circumstances will allow it, let your daughter choose her own gynecologist. This can help her feel more in control of her body, and may allow her to open up more to her doctor once she is in the exam room.
Don't make her get a pelvic exam
If your daughter is not sexually active and doesn't have any major issues with her period, then she may not need a pelvic exam during her initial visit to her gynecologist. Her doctor will simply want to talk to her about her reproductive health, such as
- length and severity of her periods
- pain or discomfort in her pelvic region
- STDs and teenage intercourse
- concerns your daughter may have about her health
If your daughter's gynecologist recommends a pelvic exam during her visit, let your daughter make the decision about whether she wants to get one the day of her first visit or if she wants to reschedule for a pelvic exam in the next few days. This gives her time to prepare for this new experience in her gynecological health.
If your daughter has siblings, she may be embarrassed about them knowing she is going to the gynecologist. Be discreet about the appointment referring to it as a typical doctor's visit or a physical. Siblings can tease or relay frightening information to your daughter, which can make the experience more daunting.
Before her first gynecological exam, ask your daughter about any concerns she may have. Share with her what your experiences are like when you visit the gynecologist. If she doesn't want to speak to you about it out of embarrassment, encourage her to talk to her friends, who may have already been to the gynecologist for cysts or regular exams. Communication can help make the experience less severe since your daughter will understand that all women should have this seemingly intimate doctor visit and that it is necessary for her growing health.
Going to the gynecologist for the first time can be frightening for any woman. In preparing your own daughter for her exam, the visit can be far less daunting.