What is the time for a girl/woman to go for her first gynecologist visit?


#1

It amazes me when I hear about women not going to a gynecologist until they are married, or sometimes never, or until they get pregnant. :eek:

I have my own opinion, but I’ll wait till others have posted to post my own. But I’m curious - when do you think a girl/woman should visit the gynecologist for the first time?

~Liza


#2

Sexually active.

Other than that, I don’t see a reason to go unless my GP says I have to. Mine said not until I start sexual activity. For me, that’s not till I’m married. Unless something happens with my reproductive system, I really don’t have a reason to go anytime soon.


#3

18 or as soon as she’s sexually active, whichever comes first. Virginity is not a reason to not have a regular pap smear – virgins do get cervical cancer.


#4

If she’s old enough to have a period, she’s old enough to develop ovarian cysts – that led to my first gyno exam at 17.


#5

Age 18. My now-SIL was diagnosed with pre-cancercous cells on her cervix at 18, and she was a virgin. (She was treated and everything is fine, but it is something they look for every year for her. She was also recently diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells in her thyroid, so she had that removed.)

Reproductive problems can show up prior be being married or sexually active.


#6

Why are you concerned with the opinion of those not medically trained? This is a medical question deserving of a response by a medical practicioner. And when a girl or woman goes is up to the discretion of her doctor as there are a mutitude of reasons to have this kind of medical appointment.

Gynecology is not just for women who have begun menstruating either. My gyn has an interest in pediatric gynecology, so a female could possibly have this exam long before puberty if a reason to do so arises. There are pediatric speculums.

Seriously, I don’t mean to berate the OP, but I don’t find this thread particularly necessary. IMHO, this kind of discussion only adds to perception that gynecology is a taboo subject, which it isn’t and shouldn’t be.


#7

Just for clarification, maybe the OP means that others treat the gyn exam as taboo by avoiding it?

OP, what is your opinion on this and why does it amaze you when women go/don’t go at the times you listed?

Also, how do you see how someone voted in a poll?


#8

The medical advice is that a girl should go as soon as she gets her period or has sex (which ever comes first). If neither have happened by the time she is 16, she should go, and definitely no later than age 18.

(I voted other by the way, as none of the choices fit this perfectly.)


#9

And ovarian cancer. A girl that I attended high school with was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 24. She wasn’t married and if she hadn’t been going for checkups it probably would have gone undiagnosed until it was too late (like in my grandmother’s case- she also didn’t go for checkups).

I didn’t have a pelvic exam until I was 18, but I did see a pediatric gyn when I was 16 because of a breast lump. It turned out to be benign and he simply removed it, but he was a lot more knowledgeable and considerate about the situation than was my general ped.


#10

For a parent this is much more than only a medical opinion. A parent needs to make this decision, not a doctor. If the young girl is never taken to the doctor in the first place, how can he/she influence when the first visit takes place? Parents are the first decision makers here - not doctors.

Gynecology is not just for women who have begun menstruating either. My gyn has an interest in pediatric gynecology, so a female could possibly have this exam long before puberty if a reason to do so arises. There are pediatric speculums.

This is precisely why I have the option - before the first period.

Seriously, I don’t mean to berate the OP, but I don’t find this thread particularly necessary. IMHO, this kind of discussion only adds to perception that gynecology is a taboo subject, which it isn’t and shouldn’t be.

You are certainly welcome to your opinion.

How very perceptive of you.

OP, what is your opinion on this and why does it amaze you when women go/don’t go at the times you listed?

Because I think it is irresponsible and extremely naive for a woman to wait until she is married or even later to go for her first examination. Consider a situation where a woman has some malformation of her organs which would totally prevent her from having children (though she still has normal periods) and enters into a marriage with both the husband and wife assuming they will start a family? Or, the examples of cancer found in young women that is caught early because of routine pap smears? Or just general gynecological health for goodness sake? I think that once a parent feels their daughter understands her anatomy and will be comfortable with the examination, she should go for her first visit. This is absolutely nothing to be afraid of, and should never ever be presented as a traumatizing or taboo event. It is a part of life and should be treated as such. I do, however, feel that the first exam, if possible, should be by a female physician.

Also, how do you see how someone voted in a poll?

You don’t. I hate it when people use that option, I don’t feel it is anyone’s business how anyone votes in a poll. Attaching votes to a user name is just not a good idea in my opinion, and it does not allow people to vote honestly without concern for disclosure. You don’t sign your ballot when you vote for president do you?

~Liza


#11

I can’t imagine taking a 12 year old girl who just started her period to a gyn. I think that’s too young, unless she is having problems with her period.

Beginning periods is a natural process. I just don’t see why a doctor needs to be consulted at that point.


#12

I would say that it depends on the girl. For some girls, their periods can be very painful and irregular, and in my opinion, that would be reason to have my daughter get her first pap smear. Otherwise, I’d wait until she was 18.

I didn’t have my first exam until I was 22 and about to get married. The doctor told me I should have been coming in for 4 years already.


#13

I agree with this, except I would also add a third criterion:

  1. Age 18
  2. Sexually active
  3. Health concern

Considering criteria, I had to choose “Other” in the poll since no other choice worked.


#14

**I believe that girls should go wayyyyyyy before they are adults about to get married for all of the reasons already listed. Also I think it’s one of those things that is easier to just go and get over with if you have your mom making sure you do.

There are so many things that can be caught early or even prevented by having regular gyn check ups… why on earth would I deprive my daughter of preventative medicine just because it’s “down there”? I will take her for dental exams even if she isn’t having any problems. I will get her eyes checked and hearing tested even if she appears fine…

ps, I didn’t vote because I think several of the options fit but the poll isn’t multiple choice:shrug:

and for the person who asked to see the votes, did you mean to see how each poster voted or just see the results in general? If you just want to see the poll results you have to vote first yourself.
**


#15

Actually, before you post in a poll, a “view poll results” option is at the bottom right of the poll box, so if you don’t want to vote, you can still see the results by clicking on this.


#16

16-18 and not later than 18.


#17

My mom took me when I was 18, and she only took me b/c I had stopped having periods when I was 16…yes, she waited 2 whole years b/c she didn’t want to take me before I was 18!

I could’ve developed a serious infection in the lining of my uterus in that 2 year span. Also, my PCOS went without treatment as well, which was the cause of my PCOS. In all honesty, I started having irregular periods when I was as young as 14, but they stopped all together by 16.

If my daughter had been me, I would’ve went when she was 14 - as soon as irregular menses showed up. Just b/c it’s “down there” and she’s still a virgin, reproductive health doesn’t wait till virginity is broken. If a women has reproductive issues, she needs to go, case closed.

Now, assuming she’s having normal and regular periods, there are other issues like ovarian cancer that can happen to a woman who’s a virgin and it can go asymptomatic.

In fact, that’s why ovarian cancer is so deadly…it’s usually not caught until it’s too late.

I would say somewhere in the ages of 16-18, but no later than 18 for the first OB/GYN appt, or sooner (in what my case should’ve been) if she has a reason too.

Sorry to ramble on so long, but to this day I’m mad at my mother for not taking me till I was 18. :mad: My younger sister, who’s having regular menses is 22 years old and still hasn’t gone. My mom hasn’t made her. The ONLY reason my mom took me AT ALL was b/c I DIDN’T HAVE ANY PERIODS. /rant:mad:

Sorry to rant. :o:blush:


#18

I agree with the other posters–I wish there was a multiple choice option on the poll.

I voted once the girl is an adult–basically around 18. Sooner if she was sexually active.

But if my daughter was having problems, I’d definitely bring her in earlier. :thumbsup:

I didn’t visit the gyno until I was almost 23 and a couple of months after getting married. Some of that I really attribute to my mom’s reluctance to teach me about my body and her extreme unwillingness to go to the doctor herself.

I knew I needed to go but it wasn’t until I was married that I had enough confidence to go myself. I don’t like the exams but it is way less difficult that I thought it would be.

I’m hoping to raise my daughters with a much better understanding of their bodies so that going to the doctor won’t be such a big deal. :thumbsup:


#19

Maybe it is a generational attitude, because my mom didn’t take me either. When I went myself for the first time at age 19 after reading an article in a magazine, she was very much against it, thought the only reason I should go was if I was getting married. With her mindset, if I remained single, I would never have a reason to go at all (or maybe not until I had some health issue occur).


#20

My mom didn’t believe in ‘bothering’ the doctor, or the dentist, so we got neither preventative medicine nor dentistry. She thought my aunt who took my cousins to the dentist q6 months was nuts and a bother for the dentist.

Her first gyne exam was at the age of 28, just before she got married and the doctor congratulated her being a virgin and for 'not being as big as a barn door down there like so many women her age." Er, OK, not my idea of proper bedside conversation. Mom died in 1985 at the age of 60 and I don’t think she’d ever had a pap smear done.

I went for my first pap at 21 when I was in nursing school and I was having extremely painful periods.

But things I’ve experienced with doctors are really shocking:

My 17 year old friend was pregnant but her doctor refused to do a pelvic examination because she wasn’t married.

My 18 year old daughter was prescribed the pill without a pelvic examination with the explanation that she didn’t need one because she wasn’t sexually active. Say what???


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