There comes a time when you need to start taking responsibility of your body and going to a gynecologist only means that you’re taking care of it in new ways! It can be very exciting to know you’re making sure all is going well with puberty, your reproductive system, and more.
Keep in mind that other doctors also can help with gynecological issues. For example, an adolescent medicine specialist, family doctor, or pediatrician can answer questions and may be able to examine your vagina, too.
Of course, it can be stressful to deal with a whole new type of doctor’s visit, but learning more can help you know what to expect.
Here are a few reasons why you should consider visiting a gynecologist:
· It helps you understand your body and how to care for it
· It gives you and the doctor a sense of what is normal for you so you can notice any problem changes, like signs of a vaginal infection
· It lets your doctor find problems early so they can be treated
· It can explain what a normal vaginal discharge External link should look like and what could be a sign of a problem
· It can teach you how to protect yourself if you have sex
A gynecologist can answer any questions you have about the many changes that may be happening to your body. It’s great to build a relationship with your gynecologist over the years so he or she understands your health and what matters to you.
When is the right time to see a gynecologist?
It is recommended that teenage girls start seeing a gynecologist between the ages of 13 and 15.
If you don’t go at that time, you should make sure to visit a gynecologist if:
· You have ever had sex (vaginal, oral, or anal) or intimate sexual contact
· It has been three months or more since your last period and you haven’t gotten it again
· You have stomach pain, fever, and fluid coming from your vagina that is yellow, gray, or green with a strong smell — all of which are possible signs of a serious condition called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) that needs immediate treatment
· You are having problems with your period, like a lot of pain, bleeding heavily, or bleeding for longer than usual, or it has stopped coming regularly
· You have not gotten your period by the age of 15 or within three years of when your breasts started to grow
· You’ve had your period for two years and it’s still not regular or comes more than once a month
· You’re having sex and missed your period
If you are sexually active, tell your doctor. You likely will need to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like HIV and chlamydia. STDs (or sexually transmitted infections) are common among young people. Plus, you can have an STD without having any symptoms. Don’t let any possible embarrassment put your health — or your life — at risk.
Taking care of your health is a huge sign that you are growing up. Be proud of yourself for learning things that can protect your health and general well-being.