Puberty: the first gynecological examination for girls

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When is the first visit?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) guidelines on women's health state that the first visit to the gynecologist do it between 13 and 15 years. This, of course, if the girl's development is normal and there are no problems already in the pediatric age. “It's almost utopian to see girls so early. Generally, if they have no particular critical issues, we will see them well later »says Maria Chiara Lucchetti, pediatric gynecologist at the Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital in the city.

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Why the first gynecological examination is important

Instead, it would be good for all adolescents, when menarche occurs, to do it first visit to the gynecologist. And this not to research specific pathologies, but to «make girls aware of their own health, through an education in the knowledge of their own bodies and their own sexuality. And also to make this control a "habit" not necessarily linked to something wrong. An extremely important factor for early diagnosis and prevention ». On this occasion, therefore, a first contact is established, evaluating the patient's gynecological conditions, giving information on the most correct lifestyle habits.

“We often think that young people already know everything, because thanks to the internet, information is now much more accessible. In reality, they often only have a lot of confusion in their heads: they know little about the phenomena related to the reproductive cycle and fertility, as well as the reproductive consequences related to phenomena such as smoking, alcohol abuse, excesses or deficiencies in weight. Of sexually transmitted diseases, then, they know practically only AIDS, most of them do not know what gonorrhea or chlamydia is, and almost all live in the certainty that nothing bad will ever happen to them. Do one gynecological examination it therefore also serves this purpose: to reassure the adolescent of the normality of many phenomena related to puberty, but also to put order in the confused information in his head ".

How the visit takes place

It is important to point out that the first gynecological visit, if the girl is not yet sexually active, it is not the same as for an adult woman. The girls are visited only externally, through the palpation of the abdomen, while the inspection of the genitals takes place only if indicated. "Only if there is a serious urgency we proceed with a rectal examination, but it is a practice that we practically no longer use and which is now almost completely replaced by ultrasound".

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The role of the parent

This moment is also a very important step for parents, who often have difficulty coping with the growth of their children. "There are mothers who come claiming that their daughters suffer from" bleeding, irregular or terribly painful menstrual cycles "when they are perfectly normal and turn out to be completely superimposable to those they themselves have or have had" comments Dr. Lucchetti.

La first gynecological visit It is thus resolved in an important moment also for mothers and fathers: "We often dispel many myths with them: such as the possibility of going to the pool even if you have your period, or to take painkillers to combat the pain".

These are all very delicate aspects, which children often talk about with their peers but not in a competent way. "As a mother, therefore, it can be very useful to direct the daughter to an adult figure, a professional, with whom she can talk about all those aspects that she is unable to deal with with her parents - explains Giorgia Mattavelli, psychotherapist of Aied di our city -. This figure can therefore become an important point of reference for the girl, a person to ask and from whom to receive correct information in a path of accompaniment to growth ".

However, mothers and fathers should also take a step back and leave the examination room, because «it is important that from this moment the girls are the ones to take care of their health: they must know, for example, if they are diabetic or coagulopathic. You can't tell their mother for them, "the gynecologist explains.

«Parents - Mattavelli continues - must then have faith in professionals and know that if there are serious problems we will help the girl to communicate with them, to make them aware of the situation. Therefore, they will not be kept totally out of the child's life, but only in a functional way to guarantee their intimacy and their growth ".

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Questions and answers

When should a girl have her first gynecological examination?

If there are no particular problems, it is right that it be done between 13 and 15 years.

Updated on 11.05.2022

  • gynecologist
  • first visit gynecologist
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