When should I have my first visit with a gynecologist?

ultrasoundFor many teen girls and women, the question of when you should start seeing a gynecologist raises uncertainty.

There comes a time in every young woman’s life when she must start visiting an OB/GYN.  The question is: When should I start?

Gynecology is healthcare for the female body, primarily focusing on sexual and reproductive organs.  

With information readily available about the best time to make your first appointment, it can be difficult to decide if your first visit should be after your first menstruation cycle or when you need your first Pap smear.  Here’s how you can decide when it’s best for you to make your first appointment.

When you should visit a gynecologist

Most women have their first visit with a gynecologist when they receive their first Pap smear at age 21.  But health issues can arise long before then.

Having regular visits with your primary care physician can help determine the most appropriate age to start seeing a gynecologist.  Depending upon health issues that arise after your first menstruation, and during development stages, your primary care physician might refer you to a gynecologist.  

A visit with a gynecologist is an opportunity for you to discuss your development and establish a relationship.  Friendship is a two-way street, and your friends can’t help you if they don’t know what’s up. Talking about what’s going on with your body is not always an easy conversation to tackle, but it’s your OB/GYN’s job to make you feel comfortable about the uncomfortable.

The visit should be a transparent conversation about overall health, habits, and sexual history.  Now is the time to go over concerns such as if your menstruation cycle is interfering with day-to-day activities, if you’re considering having sex with one or more partners, or if you should be screened for breast cancer.

You should visit a gynecologist at least once a year if:

  • You’re 18 or older
  • You’re sexually active
  • You have plans to become pregnant
  • You have a sexually transmitted disease (STD), or your partner has an STD
  • You have a family history of breast cancer
  • You have a history of abnormal Pap test results

You should also have regular visits with a gynecologist for symptoms such as:

  • Pain or discomfort before and during menstruation
  • Abnormal bleeding or discharge
  • Breast soreness, lumps, or tenderness

Just as you would seek out a cardiologist for a heart condition, it is recommended to seek out a gynecologist if you’re experiencing recurring issues or if you have concerns about your development.

Gynecology at Synergy Immediate Care

Regardless of age, marital status, sexuality, or sexual activity, it’s important to listen to your body and visit a doctor for concerns.  Synergy Immediate Care’s gynecologist specializes in the evaluation, treatment, and management of women’s health conditions such as female infertility, perimenopause, PCOS, and more.  Some procedures and services we provide include cancer screenings, abnormal Pap smear evaluation, detailed gynecologic ultrasound, and more.

For more information about the services we provide, please call to speak with one of our staff or schedule an appointment at 703-942-5331.


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