When to Start Seeing an OB/GYN

A common question we hear in our office is, “When should my young daughter start seeing an OB/GYN?”. That is a great question and of course it depends on the situation. At Creekside OB/GYN we see many young women and teenagers for various health concerns. Here are some common reasons we see young women.

Painful/heavy periods - Are you missing out on sports, work or school because of heavy or painful periods? Many individuals are under the assumption that heavy periods are just part of what it means to be a female. But that is not the case. Heavy or painful periods can be a sign of an underlying disease or medical concern. Luckily, there are many safe and effective treatment options available. In certain situations low dose birth control pills can help regulate the menstrual cycle.This can help get you back to sports or school instead of being stuck in bed with terrible cramps.

No period - Have all of your friends started their periods, but you are wondering why you haven’t started yours? The average age for a first period is 12 years old. If you have not experienced a menstrual period by the age of 15, it is important to have testing done through an OB/GYN office to find out why.

Acne - Many dermatologists will recommend young female patients who struggle with acne to reach out to an OB/GYN to regulate hormones. Hormones can lead to acne for many young individuals. Low dose birth control pills can help regulate the hormones associated with acne, giving you a clearer complexion and new confidence.

Pregnancy prevention - OB/GYNs can help facilitate a conversation about various contraceptive options for young adults who want to prevent pregnancy. And you do not need a pelvic exam to get started on any form of contraception. There are many options and it is definitely not a “one size fits all” system. There are pros and cons to each form of birth control. It can be overwhelming to go off of internet searches and what your friends say.  A provider in our office can determine what makes sense for you based on your medical concerns, life plans and health history.

Vaginal Infection - Yeast and bacterial infections can occur at any age. An OB/GYN provider can do an exam, get a sample, and treat a vaginal yeast or bacterial infection. After getting a sample, the appropriate treatment can be prescribed. Sometimes that involves antibiotics, antifungal medication, or an over-the-counter option.

Routine Physical exam - Routine physical exams (including pap smears) usually start around age 21 or within three years of being sexually active. Physical exams might occur sooner if you are experiencing a female health concern. Depending on your health concern, the provider might do a pelvic exam.  All young women should be screened through a simple urine sample for chlamydia each year.

Overall, there are many reasons to get established at an OB/GYN office. If you are nervous about your first visit, you can bring a support person to help you feel more comfortable. And remember depending on your concerns you most likely will not need to get undressed at your visit. If you, daughter or friend have any of the above concerns call our office today to schedule your first appointment.