First GYN Exam
This exam is her first step into the world of women’s health and learning to take care of herself.
For a young girl, it can be overwhelming to have that kind of exam, so it is worth talking about it first to get her prepared. Once your daughter begins her menstrual period, she is becoming a young woman. Part of the responsibility here is learning to take care of her health.
Just like when she got her first period, explain the process and the reasoning behind the exam to her. The doctor will do the same thing, but at least she will already have heard it all from you and can ask informed questions if she has them.
The purpose of regular gynecological exams is to screen for cancers and other abnormalities that can occur within the female reproductive system. It can also detect signs of sexually transmitted diseases. Early detection leads to better survival rates.
Gynecological exams do not signal that you think your child is sexually active or gives them the go-ahead to be sexually active. It is a way to protect the reproductive system until she is ready for those activities in her life.
Now that she knows why, discuss the actual exam. She will lie on a table in a hospital gown. Her feet will be placed in stirrups so the doctor can visualize better. Tell her that you will be with her through the entire experience so that she is comfortable with it and not so nervous.
The biggest part is the speculum. It is a metal instrument that is used to open up the cervix so the doctor can do a smear and check for cervical cancer. It will be cold and there will be pressure as it is inserted. Breathing deeply and relaxing the stomach muscles can relieve some of that pressure.
Besides the exam, the doctor will discuss birth control with your daughter now that she is of childbearing age. Even if she is not sexually active, pills can regulate periods, clear up acne and lower premenstrual symptoms. It is not only to prevent pregnancy. And, also inform her that pills do not prevent the transmission of STDs.
Ask your daughter to participate in her own procedure. Does she prefer a man or a woman physician? Many general practitioners do gynecological exams and she may be more comfortable with them than a gynecologist for now. The established trust is a factor.