A Pap smear is a simple test that checks for abnormalities in the cells of the cervix. This quick procedure is a fast and effective way to screen for cervical cancer, making it a life-saving screening for all women once they’ve reached the right age.
At Alpenglow Gynecology in Littleton, Colorado, Rickie Guida, WHNP-BC, understands the importance gynecologic health plays in the overall health and well-being of your teen daughter. She also knows that many parents have questions about teen gynecology, including when your daughter should get her first Pap smear.
When should my teen get her first Pap smear?
Most teens don’t need to have a Pap smear until they’re in their early 20s. In fact, the recommended age for a first pelvic exam is 21. Sometimes, however, your provider may decide to conduct a pelvic exam or Pap smear earlier than 21.
Reasons for an earlier pelvic exam or Pap test include:
- Not getting a period by age 15 or 3 years after breast development starts
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding (long periods, missed periods)
- Unexplained pelvic pain or pain in the genitals
- Unusual vaginal discharge
If your teen is sexually active, Rickie may recommend a Pap smear or pelvic exam if your daughter experiences the problems above, or if she sees another cause for concern.
Are there other reasons my teen should see a gynecologist?
Yes! Teen gynecology visits offer a chance to establish care and begin a trusted provider-patient relationship between Rickie and your daughter. No matter how close you and your child are, teen girls aren’t always comfortable coming to their parent with questions about puberty, sex, and birth control.
By scheduling a teen visit at Alpenglow Gynecology, your daughter receives safe, reliable information about these important topics. Teen gynecology visits give Rickie a chance to help your daughter through the challenging teen years and a way for your child to learn about what’s normal and what might require additional attention.
What can my daughter expect at a gynecology appointment?
Our goal at Alpenglow Gynecology is to build rapport with your daughter and provide a safe place to answer your teen’s questions about her reproductive health. Rickie may discuss general health topics such as diet, exercise, drug and alcohol use, and general sexuality along with the following gynecology topics:
- Puberty and body changes
- Hormones and mood changes
- Birth control and sexual activity
- Questions about periods including irregular periods
- Breast health
Schedule a teen gynecology appointment for your daughter at Alpenglow Gynecology in Littleton, Colorado, or book online now!