Gyn Checkupsenteenshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/T-breastPelvicExam-enHD-AR1.jpgGirls should get their first gynecological checkup between ages 13 and 15. Find out what happens during a yearly gyn visit -- and why most girls don't get internal exams.gyn exam, gynecology, gynecologist, gynecological, gyno, going to the gynecologist, ginecologist, gine exam, ob-gyn, well woman, well-woman, visit, nurse practitioner, checkup, check up, yearly, annual, pelvic, pap smear, breast, exam, std, sexually transmitted disease, sti, birth control, contraception, contraceptives, sex, sexually active, speculum, cervix, vagina, grow, develop, development, menstruation, period, periods, menstrual problems, infections, planned parenthood, abstinence, health clinic, reproductive health, abnormal cells, asking the doctor questions about my body, uterus, ovaries, CD1Adolescent Medicine03/22/200003/28/201809/02/2019Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD10/14/201755d0d193-7166-402f-b766-14a4d4cfe970https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/obgyn.html/<h3>What Are Gyn Checkups?</h3> <p>Gynecology (&quot;gyn&quot; for short) is a medical field that focuses on the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/female-repro.html/">female reproductive system</a>. A gyn checkup is a yearly health check — like a regular eye exam or dental checkup.</p> <p>Doctors often call gyn checkups &quot;well woman visits&quot; because they're designed to keep you healthy by catching small issues before they turn into big ones. This could be even before you realize you have an issue. It's sort of like when a dentist finds a cavity before it gives you a toothache.</p> <p>Doctors might call the yearly checkup a &quot;gyn exam,&quot; but there's very little actual examining involved. A doctor or nurse may quickly look at your breasts and external genitalia to be sure everything's OK. But most of the visit will be spent talking.</p> <p>Some of the things you'll discuss are periods, breast growth, birth control, STDs, sexuality, relationships, pregnancy, and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/body-image.html/">body image</a>. Most important, you'll have a chance to ask questions about anything — like how your <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/breast-size.html/">breasts look</a>, if you should <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/shaving-query.html/">shave your pubic hair</a> or not, or if the things you've heard about STDs are <a class="kh_anchor">true</a>.</p> <div class="rs_skip rs_preserve"> <!-- TinyMCE Fix --> <script src="//familysurvey.org/misc/javascript/js_apps/kh-slideshows/kh-slider.js" type="text/javascript"></script> <script src="//familysurvey.org/misc/javascript/js_apps/kh-slideshows/bodybasics-female.js" type="text/javascript"></script> </div> <h3>When Should I Get a Gyn Checkup?</h3> <p>Doctors recommend girls get a first gynecology checkup sometime between ages 13 and 15. Most girls have started going through puberty by then, so it's a good time to check that everything's developing OK.</p> <p>After your first appointment, you should go for a gyn checkup once a year, even if you feel fine. Because most of your reproductive system is hidden inside your body, you can't always tell if there's a problem. Talking about what's going on with your body gives doctors or nurses a heads up if anything's not quite right.</p> <p>Most girls don't need <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/breast-exams.html/">breast exams</a> or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/pelvic-exams.html/">pelvic exams</a> until they're 21. If a doctor or nurse notices anything unusual, though (or if you have problems, like heavy bleeding, missed periods, vaginal sores or itchiness, discharge, or other symptoms) you may get a pelvic exam at your gyn appointment. Doctors may do breast or pelvic exams if you have a family history of problems.</p> <h3>What Happens During a Gyn Checkup?</h3> <p>When you arrive for your appointment, the office staff will ask for your health insurance information and give you forms to fill out. The forms will include questions about:</p> <ul> <li>the date of your last period</li> <li>any health conditions you might have (like diabetes or asthma)</li> <li>medications you take</li> <li>allergies</li> <li>your lifestyle and health habits (like exercise or smoking)</li> <li>your family health history (like if your parents have any health problems)</li> <li>if you are, or have been, sexually active (meaning vaginal, oral, or anal sex)</li> <li>if you've ever been pregnant</li> <li>if you are using birth control and what type</li> </ul> <h4>The Checkup</h4> <p>A nurse or medical assistant will take you into the exam room to weigh you and get your blood pressure. If the doctor is going to do a quick visual check of things like breast growth, you will be left alone to get undressed. The assistant or nurse will give you a robe to wear and a sheet to cover you.</p> <p>Your doctor will look at your breasts to figure out where you might be in your growth and if you are developing normally. She or he will then take a quick look at your external reproductive organs (your vaginal opening and the area around it) to be sure everything's OK.</p> <p>If your doctor decides you need a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/pelvic-exams.html/">pelvic exam</a>, you may feel nervous, but it shouldn't hurt. Most girls only feel a little pressure or discomfort during the exam. It helps to stay as relaxed as possible and to remember that the exam itself is very brief. Breathe deeply and think about things that calm you. If it's your first pelvic exam, let your doctor know. He or she can explain what's going on and you can ask questions. If at any time you want the exam to stop, you can just say so.</p> <p>If you haven't had the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/hpv-vaccine.html/">HPV vaccine</a> yet, you should discuss it with your doctor or nurse, because it is recommended for all girls between the ages of 11 and 26. She may also recommend other immunizations to protect you against STDs, such as a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/std-hepatitis.html/">hepatitis B</a> vaccine.</p> <p>Some doctors and nurse practitioners like to meet with you first, then examine you. Others do an exam first.</p> <p>A parent can stay with you in the examining room if you want. But if you'd rather not have a parent with you at any point in your checkup, let the doctor or nurse know. Most doctors will spend some alone time with you during your visit, though they may include your parent in a separate discussion.</p> <p>Doctors understand the importance of keeping things private and confidential. Ask your doctor or nurse what he or she plans to tell your parent ;about your exam and let them know if there's anything you don't feel comfortable sharing. Different states have different rules when it comes to patient confidentiality. If you're worried about privacy, ask about the office policy when you call to make an appointment.</p> <h4>STD Tests</h4> <p>If you've ever had sex, the doctor or nurse might test for <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/std.html/">STDs</a>. That means providing a urine sample or vaginal swab for the doctor to send to a lab for analysis. Sometimes a blood test might be needed,</p> <p>If you get a vaginal swab done in the doctor's office, the doctor or nurse will quickly wipe a cotton swab inside your vagina to collect a sample of mucus. Some places give you a kit to take home and get the sample yourself.</p> <p>Doctors do their best to keep your results confidential. Talk to your doctor or a nurse about how you want to get your STD test results, and what they should do if they can't reach you directly.</p> <h3>Asking Questions</h3> <p>There are lots of rumors floating around about sex and sexuality. Your gyn appointment is a chance to get real answers.</p> <p>Write down any questions you have in the days before the appointment. Take the list with you so you don't forget anything. If you feel shy or embarrassed asking a question, you can just give your list to the doctor or nurse.</p> <p>It might be awkward talking about some topics at first, especially if you've never had sex and aren't planning on it. But the best time to talk about sex and relationships is before you need to know, so you're fully prepared when the time comes.</p> <p>There's another advantage to getting past any weirdness and talking about sex with your doctor: The more you talk about difficult topics, the more comfortable you'll get. That can make it easier to <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/talk-to-parents.html/">talk to parents</a> about any sensitive topic — not just sex. Your doctor can also give you tips on how to <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/talk-about-condoms.html/">talk to partners about condoms</a>, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/the-talk.html/">STDs</a>, and other sexual health topics.</p> <h3>Who Does the Checkup?</h3> <p>Gyn checkups are often done by a gynecologist (often called &quot;OB-GYN,&quot; short for &quot;obstetrician-gynecologist&quot;), but you don't have to see a gynecologist. Family doctors, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/adolescent-doctor.html/">adolescent health specialists</a>, nurse practitioners, and pediatricians also do gyn checkups. Some girls visit a health clinic (like Planned Parenthood).</p> <p>Both male and female doctors can do a gyn checkup. The most important thing is to be comfortable with the person who is examining you.</p> <h3>Making the Appointment</h3> <p>If you're 13 or older and your parents haven't said anything about a gyn checkup, let them know you'd like one. It's best to include parents in your health care. If you want to go to a doctor's office, you may need to involve a parent or other adult because of insurance (it can be expensive otherwise).</p> <p>If you can't involve your parents, you can go to a health clinic like Planned Parenthood. Some high schools have on-site clinics that offer reproductive health care. Clinic staff are fully trained and often care for you at a lower cost.</p> <p>Before you go to your appointment, write down any questions you have. Make a note of the date when you had your last period. Take your health insurance card or information with you.</p> <h3>After the Checkup</h3> <p>The office or clinic will let you know if the doctor or nurse practitioner needs to see you after your checkup. Otherwise, you won't need to go back for another year — unless you notice any health problems, of course.</p> <p>Gyn checkups help detect any problems early on, so you need to get one every year. If you don't want to go back because you didn't like the doctor or nurse practitioner, find a new doctor or clinic.</p>Exámenes ginecológicosLa ginecología es el campo médico que se especializa en el sistema reproductivo femenino. El exámen ginecológico es parte de los controles anuales de salud preventivos.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/teens/gyn-checkups-esp.html/276842fe-683c-4062-8f05-c5467680fc6c
About Birth ControlBefore you consider having sex, you need to know how to protect yourself. Read this article to get the basics on birth control.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/contraception.html/90f91fa7-99ad-4e73-aab1-4ec8af08e95d
All About PeriodsPeriods can be confusing. Get the facts in this article for teens.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/menstruation.html/8982e306-91dd-45c8-869f-3012403a61dd
Breast ExamsIt's rare for teen girls to have breast problems. But sometimes a doctor or nurse might think a breast exam is a good idea. Find out why, as well as what's involved in a breast exam.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/breast-exams.html/edafc882-9bc3-4000-a100-1990b41af646
EndometriosisRead this article to learn all about endometriosis and how doctors help girls who have it.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/endometriosis.html/12971b5d-7072-44c0-bc93-ccddca1e1571
Irregular PeriodsWondering whether it's normal to have irregular periods? Get the facts about this common problem.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/irregular-periods.html/c3462379-b09e-41c0-8a67-9c0ebdc4b743
PMS, Cramps, and Irregular PeriodsGet the facts on which period problems are normal and which ones might indicate something's going on.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/menstrual-problems.html/dc8ec33f-7c5e-41eb-a3fb-f7fcb030b6b2
Pap SmearsA Pap smear is a medical test that helps doctors figure out if there are any problems with a girl's cervix. Find out what happens during a Pap smear.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/pap-smears.html/2378fb34-7bc1-49cc-9ad1-1e3ef47a81a3
Pelvic ExamsA pelvic exam is where a doctor or nurse practitioner looks at a girl's reproductive organs (both outside and internally) and feels the uterus and ovaries to be sure everything's normal. Find out what's involved in this article for teens.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/pelvic-exams.html/9497886d-d42d-48da-8cc4-501407d39e07
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)In polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the ovaries produce higher than normal amounts of certain hormones, which can interfere with egg development and release. Learn how doctors diagnose and treat PCOS.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/pcos.html/79731239-b3c8-4c57-af59-55eb6eea7eaa
STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases)You've probably heard lots of discouraging news about sexually transmitted diseases. The good news is that STDs can be prevented. Find out how to protect yourself.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/std.html/587b3e0c-bd0d-4d3c-93fa-6e8b38768ac2
Should I Do a Breast Self-Exam?Find out what the experts have to say.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/bse.html/c2aa380f-3896-428b-ab50-01af851dff07
Taking Charge of Your Medical CareFiguring out health care is part of becoming an independent adult. Here are tips for teens on what that involves, and how to choose your own doctor.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/medical-care.html/68e64ed2-24a5-4eca-8bd4-5e046d46f49b
Talking to Your DoctorYour best resource for health information and advice is your doctor - the person who knows you, your medical history, and accurate medical information to answer your questions.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/talk-doctor.html/d70c612b-127b-47b2-a920-b30c5ca1b966
kh:age-teenThirteenToNineteenkh:age-youngAdultEighteenPluskh:clinicalDesignation-adolescentMedicinekh:clinicalDesignation-obgynkh:genre-NAkh:primaryClinicalDesignation-adolescentMedicineFor Girlshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/sexual-health/girls/2f5cbbfa-7003-4714-8cc6-a064381dfb03Medical Carehttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/your-body/medical-care/e8b694c3-e8b0-4448-9490-3cf340bb75eaDiagnostic Tests for Teens With Cancerhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/cancer-center/diagnostic-tests/73ccad36-c7a6-4e40-b98e-f21fba10718c