When should your daughter start seeing a gynecologist?

Pediatric gynecologists are specialists in communicating with children, teens and parents on sensitive topics.

You’ve been seeing the same gynecologist for years; you feel comfortable with her and trust her. Is she right for your 13-year-old daughter’s first gynecologic visit?

Whether your daughter lets on or not, you can be sure she is nervous about her first visit. You may feel clueless about what’s going on with her. She may feel clueless about what’s happening to her body.

“Even if they open up and discuss changes, teenagers often don’t tell their parents everything,” Paige Hertweck, M.D., pediatric and adolescent gynecologist with Norton Children’s Gynecology.

Girl Talk: It’s a Girl Thing

This parent-daughter class led by a pediatric gynecologist is designed to start the conversation about girls’ physical and emotional changes during puberty. It also will cover the importance of sleep, good nutrition and exercise during this phase of life. Recommended for ages 8 to 13.

Free, Feb. 19 • 6 to 8 p.m.

Marshall Women’s Health & Education Center

Norton Medical Plaza 3 – St. Matthews, Suite 108, Classroom B, 4123 Dutchmans Lane, Louisville, Kentucky

That’s why you should consider the advantages of going to a pediatric/adolescent gynecologist. These physicians specialize in pelvic health for girls and teens. Perhaps more important, they’re trained to communicate with children, teens and parents on sensitive topics.

The first visit usually does not have to include a pelvic exam. Your daughter will start to establish a relationship with a gynecologic health care provider. The goal of the first visit is health promotion, education and screening.

Dr. Hertweck encourages parents to take their daughters to their first gynecology appointment between ages 13 and 15, which also is the recommended age according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The association adds that girls should see a gynecologist earlier if their menstrual cycle starts before age 13.