At What Age Should You Take Your Daughter to the Gynecologist for the First Time?
Updated: Jan 15, 2020
For a young girl, the word “gynecologist” can be scary. Walking into the examination room, most girls won’t know what to expect, so it is often left to her mother or parental figure to help her through the process. While you might use your own experiences as a timeline for when to take your daughter to the gynecologist, every girl is different.
For those wondering when they should be taking their daughter for her first visit, you might be hoping for a clear cut answer, but we’re here to tell you – there is none! While you might want an exact age, you won’t find an answer to that, but there is a series of circumstances. If you’re looking for the proper time to take her for her first visit to the gynecologist, here’s what to look out for.
When it comes to getting their period, the average age for girls is 12 years old. Based on this number, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists sets 13-15 as the age range when girls should first visit the gynecologist. The fact of the matter is that most girls will return from this check up to find that everything is functioning correctly. While most won’t use this age range as a sign to take their daughter for their first visit, there are a few circumstances that should act as a clear sign to schedule an appointment.
Is She Sexually Active?
While you might not be aware of it, your daughter might be sexually active. According to Planned Parenthood, the average age when boys and girls lose their virginity is 17 years old while also indicating that half of high school students have already had sex. This means there is a chance that your teen could be sexually active. If she is, this is a definite sign to take her to the gynecologist. While it’s easy to pick up contraceptives at any store, taking her to the gynecologist is a must to check her sexual health but also to perform an STD screening.
Has She Missed Her Period?
If you’re not sexually active, a missed period might be a sign of fluctuating hormones. If you are sexually active, it could be a sign of pregnancy. If your daughter is sexually active and you have yet to take her to see a gynecologist, a missed period makes this first visit crucial. While she might take oral contraceptives or utilize condoms, neither method is 100% fool-proof, so a trip to the gynecologist is pertinent.
Is She Experiencing Abnormal Discharge?
In general, vaginal discharge is normal. It’s actually a means to help protect the vagina from infection. Before you take this to mean that all discharge is normal, it’s not! Outside of your period, most vaginal discharge should appear on the color scale from clear to white-ish.
If any discharge is accompanied with itching or with a thick, lumpy consistency, this can be the sign of an infection. Any discharge that appears in colors such as yellow, gray, or green are the sign of something serious and are an immediate sign to take your daughter to the gynecologist.
Your daughter’s first gynecological visit can’t necessarily be tied down to a specific age, but once she gets her period, the time starts ticking. The truth is no age’s too early to take her, but there is a possibility that you can take her too late! If you’d rather be on the safe side, take her for a visit around the time of her first period, and you’ll already have her on the path to great reproductive health!