There’s a first for everything: When should you first see an OBGYN?
With CDC (Center for Disease Control) continually changing guidelines based on evolving research, choosing the right time to visit an OBGYN for the first time can be intimidating.
Not only will you get one of your most vulnerable body parts examined, you’ll also discuss your sexual history and concerns with a total stranger.
There is no specific age to start going to the gynecologist. There is, however, an age range that could vary, depending on the patient’s circumstances. Typically, the age recommended to have your first pelvic exam is age 21, however, there are other factors that might indicate the necessity of an appointment at an earlier age.
1. If you’re sexually active. While it may be considered shameful for some to be sexually active in teenage years, it has become more common in the last ten years. If this is the case, we recommend scheduling a gynecological exam as soon as possible.
This would be necessary for STD screening, as well as ovarian and cervical cancer screenings.
2. If you’re sexually active and missed your period. There are a lot of sex myths that go around in middle school and high school. One of them is that pulling out won’t get you pregnant. And even if you used a condom, sometimes they break. If you have a regular period and it didn’t come this month, schedule a gynecological exam as soon as possible.
3. If you’ve noticed an unusual discharge. If you’ve been getting your period for a while and suddenly notice a yellow or green discharge with a foul odor. Don’t put it off thinking it’s embarrassing, or will resolve on its own. Gynecologists have seen everything. Failing to get treatment could result in a more severe infection.
4. If your period has changed. If it’s unusually heavy or has suddenly become irregular, or you’re getting your period more than once a month, you’ll want to discuss it with an OB-GYN.
5. You’re experiencing pain. While feeling cramps during your period may be normal, if you’re experiencing pain that’s interrupting your regular activities, you may want to talk to a gynecologist.
While going to the gynecologist can seem overwhelming or intimidating, Advanced Women’s Health Center is dedicated to providing you with compassionate care. Our providers see patients of all ages. Don’t believe us? Check out our patient reviews. You can also book an appointment online for your convenience.