Teen | Adolescent Gynecology
Gynecological exams are valuable to adolescents in many ways. It is important for young women to be examined by a medical professional around the age of puberty, especially if they are sexually active. These exams are also a great opportunity to establish a relationship with a women’s health specialist who will be able to guide them through many important milestones in their lives.
The OB-GYN providers at Women’s HealthFirst in northwest suburban Chicago offer specialized care and confidentiality to our younger patients. Our providers are specially trained and experienced at helping young women understand the changes their bodies are going through – and will take the time to answer any and all patient questions. Our OB-GYN providers are especially skilled at listening to young patients and talking to them about sensitive subjects.
When to Start Seeing an OB-GYN
According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), adolescent girls should receive their first well-woman gynecological exam between the ages of 13-15.
What Teens Can Expect at a Well-Woman Exam
For most young women, their first several well-woman visits will typically involve a physical (but not pelvic) exam and discussion with the OB-GYN. These exams can help your doctor identify any areas of concern, as well as provide an opportunity for education and guidance about the reproductive system and its functions.
In most cases, clinical breast exams, pelvic exams, and Pap smears don’t begin until a woman is in her 20s. The screenings performed, if any, will depend on a young woman’s age, medical and sexual history, and type of concerns she may have. These screenings may include:
- Clinical breast exam and instructions on how to conduct breast self-exams as a screening for breast cancer
- Pelvic exams allow your doctor to assess the health of your reproductive organs, and may be used to identify possible signs of ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- A Pap smear is a cervical cancer screening conducted at the same time as a pelvic exam – it involves gently scraping a sample of tissue for lab analysis
- Sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing for those who are sexually active, along with treatment, when needed
Issues an OB-GYN Can Help a Teen With
With gynecological care, what is needed at any one visit really depends on you. Our OB-GYN providers provide a wide range of services. When it comes to teens and young women, below are some of the most common services and issues we help our younger patients with:
- Routine preventive care
- Diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of gynecological and other conditions, including urinary tract infections, yeast infections, STDs, and more
- Discussion of any symptoms a patient may be experiencing, and whether treatment or additional testing may be necessary – this most often includes cramps, abdominal pain, painful or heavy periods, and vaginal discharge and infections
- Information and guidance on issues affecting the reproductive organs, such as menstruation (e.g., what’s normal vs. what’s not), birth control (e.g., pros/cons of different available options), and sexual activity (e.g., what to expect, how to protect against STDs)
Gynecological Care for Teens and Adolescents in Cook County, IL
It’s important for young women to begin regularly seeing an OB-GYN specialist. This can not only identify medical issues at the earliest possible stage but can provide a source of information and support from a medical professional with expertise in the field.
Schedule your first visit with an OB-GYN at Women’s HealthFirst by calling (847) 808-8884 or simply request an appointment now. We have five convenient locations in northwest suburban Chicago from which to serve you.