Do you still have to get pelvic exams even though you've had an HPV vaccination? – Georgia* You might need to get a pelvic exam, but it depends on how old you are and if you're having problems. Girls don't usually get their first pelvic exam until they are in their twenties, unless they're having problems like lower belly pain, abnormal discharge, or period trouble. Doctors recommend that girls start seeing a gynecologist as early as ages 13 to 15. For most girls, a gynecologist visit doesn't involve a pelvic exam. It's up to the doctor or nurse practitioner to decide if you need one based on your medical history and physical health. Everyone's different. If you've ever had sex, you should be tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) — even if you've had the full series of HPV shots. That's because the HPV vaccine only protects against HPV, not other STDs. People can have STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea without knowing it. STD tests don't always require a pelvic exam. Depending on what test you're getting, your doctor may be able to use a urine sample, blood sample, or a vaginal swab. Usually doctors only do a pelvic exam if a girl has specific symptoms that indicate a problem. If your doctor or nurse practitioner recommends one, a pelvic exam can prevent any problems from getting worse. If you have sex, including oral or anal sex, always use condoms to help prevent STDs. *Names have been changed to protect user privacy. Back to Articles Related Articles Can a Doctor Tell During Your Pelvic Exam If You've Had Sex? Find out what the experts have to say. Read More Do You Need a Pelvic Exam to Get Birth Control? Find out what the experts have to say. Read More Does My Mom Have to Be in the Room During My Gyn Exam? Find out what the experts have to say. Read More Condoms Condoms may be a good birth control option for couples who are responsible enough to use one each time and people who want protection against STDs. Read More 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. Read More HPV Vaccine The HPV vaccine can help protect against the virus that causes genital warts and may lead to some kinds of cancer. Find out more in this article for teens. Read More Gyn Checkups Girls 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. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.