A good time to schedule a visit with a gynecologist (or women’s health specialist) is when you first have problems or concerns with menstrual periods, including premenstrual moods, acne around menses, vaginal discharge or any other cyclic discomfort. That appointment will involve a conversation about what is bothering you and may include a pelvic exam or may not. Likely the doctor will ask you questions and together you will decide whether or not an exam is necessary.
Around age 13, even if you feel fine and are just wondering when you should come in for a routine exam, is a good time to schedule an appointment to discuss your female health, contraception and screening for sexually transmitted infection. Vaccinations may be recommended if you have not already received routine immunizations. Some of the things that may be discussed include your health history, family health history, your habits with regard to diet and exercise, smoking or any drug use and sexual activities. Some of these topics are things you may find difficult to discuss with friends and family. In the gynecologists office we talk about those things all of the time! Often we give you pamphlets or point to online resources for you. The conversation is confidential and it is okay for you to remind the health care provider that you wish it to remain confidential.
What is a pelvic exam and why might I need one?
A pelvic exam is ...