Preparing your daughter for her first gynaecologist appointment
We talk to Dr Christilla Nevi, a gynaecologist at our clinic, about her holistic approach to adolescent wellbeing, paediatric gynaecology, and how to decide when to make an appointment for your daughter.
“I’m often asked, “How old should my daughter be when she has her first gynaecology appointment?”
Usually we can say between 15 and 20 years old but there is no hard and fast rule. Because each girl develops at her own pace the age at which she has her first consultation will vary.
What prompts that first gynaecology appointment?
There are several reasons why a teenager might need to go and visit a gynaecologist. These include clinical symptoms such as painful, irregular or very heavy periods. Or they might need advice on contraception, the HPV vaccination or to talk about their sexual development.
Young people can find lots of information on the internet or from friends or family, however it can be more reassuring and reliable to discuss it with a doctor.
What should a girl expect at her first gynaecologist appointment?
The first consultations are important because they set the tone for the relationship between a patient and her gynaecologist. It’s a relationship of trust that will allow a young woman to feel that she can talk about anything in confidence, without feeling judged.
If a girl comes with her mother, I always try to have some time with the mother and her daughter together, before having a one-to-one with the young woman alone.
There needs to be a bond of trust between the mother, her daughter, and me, the gynaecologist. After all, a mother is entrusting her teenage daughter to my care, and so I, in turn have to fully respect the parent-child relationship while maintaining medical confidentiality.
How to prepare your daughter for her first gynaecologist appointment
My advice it tell her to try not to worry in advance. Reassure her by explaining that in the majority of paediatric gynaecology cases there is no need for a clinical examination.
Often during a consultation I’ll be able to work out what the appropriate prescription or treatment is – for example, prescribing a contraceptive pill. In certain cases it may be necessary to conduct an abdominal pelvic ultrasound or blood test.
In rare cases a gynecological examination may be necessary, and of course we always ask for the girl’s consent. At every stage of the examination I’ll explain exactly what’s happening, so the young woman feels at ease.
At what age should a woman have her first smear test?
In the UK and in France, women are typically invited to have their first smear test at the age of 25. But it can vary depending on circumstances.
The first gynecological check up (where there are no symptoms) will be done when a young woman feels ready!
Making an appointment with Christilla Nevi
To to find out more about our clinic, or to make an appointment for your daughter, simply book an appointment online or call us on 020 7244 4200.