Preparing your daughter for her first gynaecologist appointment
We talk to Doctors Zoe Bellamy and Marguerite Anderson, GPs with special expertise and vast experience in gynaecology and women’s health at our clinic, about their holistic approach to adolescent wellbeing, paediatric gynaecology, and how to decide when to make an appointment for your daughter.
“I am often asked, “How old should my daughter be when she has her first gynaecology appointment?” My usual answer is 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” explains Dr Bellamy.
What prompts that first gynaecology appointment?
Dr Anderson replies "There are several reasons why a teenager might need to 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, but it's always more reassuring and reliable to discuss it with a doctor."
What should a girl expect at her first gynaecologist appointment?
“The first consultation is important because it sets the tone for the relationship between a girl and her gynaecologist. It’s a relationship of trust which will allow a young woman to feel that she can talk about anything in confidence, without feeling judged” says Dr Bellamy.
“If a girl comes with her mother, I always try to have time with both of them 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 her gynaecologist. After all, a mother is entrusting her teenage daughter to our 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
Dr Anderson says “My advice is to tell her not to worry. Reassure her by explaining that there is no need for a clinical examination in the majority of paediatric gynaecology visits.
Often during a consultation I’ll be able to work out what the appropriate prescription or treatment is, such as prescribing a contraceptive pill. Sometimes an abdominal pelvic ultrasound or blood test is necessary.
Occasionally, a gynaecological examination is needed. Both of us always ask for the girl’s consent and we’ll explain exactly what’s happening at every stage of the examination so the patient always 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 gynaecological checkup, when there are no symptoms, will be done when she feels ready!
Making an appointment with Dr Zoe Bellamy or Dr Marguerite Anderson
To learn more about our clinic or to make an appointment for your daughter, simply make an appointment online or call us on 020 7244 4200.