Women’s Gynecology Services
Welcome to adolescent gynecology at VPFW
Going to the gynecologist for the first time is part of growing up—but it doesn’t have to be a scary experience! Our compassionate OB/GYNs are understanding of the challenges teens face, and they’re happy to help them navigate the changes they experience during this transitional time in their lives.
Adolescent gynecology: When should a teen start visiting the gynecologist?
According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, teen gynecology should be considered between ages 13 and 15 years old. This age range isn’t necessarily concrete for getting a pelvic exam and getting vaccinated against sexually transmitted infections. If at any point they are experiencing any health problems or if they are sexually active, they should visit the gynecologist sooner.
Whether a teen is sexually active at the moment or not, an adolescent gynecology exam is critical for sexual health awareness, reproductive education and wellness checks.
Teen gynecology: What to expect out of the exam
We understand that a teen’s first gynecology visit can involve an influx of emotions, making them feel nervous, embarrassed or uncertain about what the exam entails. However, it’s fairly similar to a routine exam where current health status is discussed and sometimes accompanied by a physical checkup.
Visits may or may not include a physical exam, depending on the patient’s unique needs. An initial teen gynecology appointment is mainly a chance to talk with a doctor about the changes a girl’s body goes through, discuss any issues, and ask any questions. The first adolescent gynecology visit offers a chance for teens to get to know the doctor and feel more comfortable in his or her presence. Concerns and specific questions may be discussed on a case-by-case basis.
HPV Vaccination for Adolescents
Please note that it is recommended that adolescents receive the HPV vaccine at age 11 or 12, which is usually before their first visit to the gynecologist. The HPV vaccine is available through pediatricians and primary care providers as well as the Virginia Department of Health, but Virginia Physicians for Women can also provide the HPV vaccine for our female patients who have not received it.
HPV vaccination is strongly encouraged for reducing cancer-causing infections. In fact, research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that among teens in the U.S., genital warts and cancers caused by HPV have dropped nearly 88% since the HPV vaccine has been in use. With over 15 years of monitoring and adamant research, scientists and other care professionals consider the HPV vaccine very safe and effective for your child.
Trusted teen gynecology providers at Virginia Physicians for Women
VPFW providers are well-versed in discussing concerns and relevant reproductive health topics with teens. They can talk about body development and image, breast health, self-confidence, weight management, and menstrual cycles—including cramps, irregular periods, and other potential issues.
Personal hygiene, immunizations, and other ways to minimize health risks will be part of the conversation as well. It’s also a chance to discuss sexual health and pregnancy prevention.
VPFW providers’ goal at adolescent gynecology appointments is to educate teens and make sure they feel comfortable enough to talk about topics like intercourse and teen pregnancy should they need to.
We’re excited to meet you
Are you ready to schedule an adolescent gynecology appointment? Check out our provider profiles to choose a gynecologist at a VPFW location near you in Richmond, VA or the surrounding areas. You can also check out our new patient information page for information specific to new patients who are under 18 and what you need to know before scheduling an adolescent gynecology visit.
For more information on our services or providers, you can give us a call 804-897-2100. If you’re ready to come in for a teen gynecology visit, you can set an appointment online. We’re here when you’re ready.