Hudson Valley Parent

HVP December 2017

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 31 of 47

32 Hudson Valley Parent n December 2017 By MICHELLE PETERSON S ince your daughter was born, the pediatrician has been able to answer all of your medical questions about her. Now, as your daughter matures and reaches puberty, you both may be wondering: when is the right time to see the gynecologist? Many mothers feel in the dark regarding when and how to go about this process without causing stress and anxiety for their daughter (and themselves). How old is old enough "When is the right age?" asks Poughkeepsie mom, Rachel Daley, voicing the same concern as most mom's with teenage daughters. "There's not one answer to that question," states Dr. Robin Karpfen, MD, FACOG, head of the Obstetrics and Gynecology division at Crystal Run Healthcare. Girls should visit a gynecologist for the first time between the ages of 13-15, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists,. However, this age bracket does not fit in all cases and is considered more of a guideline for parents rather than a requirement. "Every exam is tailored to each young woman," says Dr. Karpfen. This includes the age in which they feel ready for the visit. Factors that may jump-start the scheduling of a gynecology appointment could be the beginning of menstruation, interest in learning more about reproductive health, or experiencing menstrual concerns. But the tell-tale sign that your daughter is ready to see an OB-GYN will most likely come directly from her, whether outright state stated or by showing increased interest in the topic. For moms looking for a way to begin an open forum with their daughters, Dr. Karpfen suggests bringing up the topic of reproductive health at your daughter's pediatricians appointment around the time she begins puberty. Starting this conversation with your daughter and a health professional she's familiar with can be useful for both moms and daughters to figure out when the time is right. If you're still unsure about your daughter's readiness, Dr. Karpfen says, "Sixteen is good, without any pressing issues earlier." What to expect "A lot of the appointment is going to be discussion," explains Dr. Karpfen when describing a typical first gynecology appointment. "A lot of information, opinions and questions." "Mom, when should I go to the gynecologist?" Moms and doctors discuss a girl's first OB-GYN appointment

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Hudson Valley Parent - HVP December 2017