Importance of Pediatric & Teen Gynecology
Gynecologist is often associated to treat adult married women in many societies. People do not generally think about taking their female child or teenage daughters to a gynecologist. However, all females are born with reproductive organs and they may at some point require a gynecologist’s service. Ob-Gyn or obstetrician gynecologist is a subspecialty of gynecology that focuses on everything related to pregnancy, from prenatal treatment to postpartum care. However, the field also specializes in looking after women’s reproductive health, including young girls, kids, and infants.
Early care also ensures that you have a trusted and experienced doctor to turn to for information and care. From irregular periods to pelvic pain, a gynecologist can help females from all age groups.
What are pediatric and teen gynecology?
A Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology is a subspecialist in the Ob-Gyn field. They first undergo training in obstetrics and gynecology. While a regular Ob-Gyn takes care of females of all age groups, pediatric or teen gynecology deals with children and adolescents females’ gynecology problems. These gynecologic issues could be anything from ovarian cysts in newborns to issues with puberty or menstruation. Children, adolescents, and young adults with reproductive organ issues can receive treatment for both medical and surgical issues with pediatric Ob-Gyn.
When to visit a gynecologist?
Although the earlier recommended age for a female to visit a gynecologist was 21, experts now suggest that the first visit can happen between the ages of 13-15. Precisely because this is when a young girl goes through several emotional and physical changes in her body; plus, a doctor can also help them with all their questions concerning the changes in body and health at this stage of life.
However, the visit can happen much early if your child is born with reproductive abnormalities, labial adhesions, contraceptive counseling, underlying bleeding disorders, fusing vaginal lips, PCOS, etc.
Seeking immediate medical attention if your daughter has any gynecological condition is crucial. Additional reasons for seeking care include chronic discomfort, unusual bleeding, etc. However, not all causes have to be gravely serious to see a pediatric gynecologist. There are several other reasons to see a doctor, such as:
- Preventive care: If a mother or anyone in the family has a history of cancer or hereditary diseases, you must get your child examined for the same at an early age to get preventative treatment.
- Menstruation: You must consult a gynecologist if your child has irregular or painful periods. For some young girls, menstruation also means cramps, nausea, lack of appetite, and other period-related problems. There is no need to tackle these problems with over-the-counter medicines, which could be signs of serious underlying diseases.
- PCOS: The condition is brought on by a hormonal imbalance that causes the ovaries to grow tiny sacs filled with fluid called cysts. Acne, excessive body hair, and irregular periods can result from this disorder. PCOS in later stages of life can lead to infertility and type 2 diabetes.
- Pain or abnormality: Stomach ache, along with smelly and greenish discharge from the vagina, can be an indication of pelvic inflammatory disease.
- Abnormal Vaginal discharge: While some odorless discharge is a sign of good health, abnormal and smelly discharge can be a sign of yeast infection.
- Delayed Puberty: Most young girls get their first menstrual cycle between the age of 12-15 years. Typically, this is also the time when girls start developing their breasts. However, some medical issues may delay puberty, and the patient may need a hormonal supplement.
- STIs: Some teens become sexually active at an early age. The lack of knowledge may lead them to STIs (Sexually Transmitted infections) such as chlamydia, herpes, and gonorrhea.
- Vaginitis: It can be vaginitis when there is a burning sensation in the vaginal area caused by a yeast infection or allergens like detergents and soaps.
Delayed diagnosis and treatment might cause damaging effects on the reproductive organs of your child.
What to expect at your child’s first gynecology appointment?
Always choose an experienced and established Ob-Gyn clinic for your daughters. Carry your insurance card, a list of your current medications, and proof of immunizations with you when you go to the clinic. All children under the age of 18 must accompany their parents or guardians. It is advisable to reach 15 mins early for your appointment.
As regular practice at any clinic, the staff may first measure your daughter’s weight, height, and blood pressure. The doctor may review your daughter’s medical background, and you can share your worries with the gynecologist. If further tests are required doctor may recommend you get a blood and urine evaluation.
Your first gynecologist visit is also the beginning of the relationship-building process between your daughter and her doctor. If your daughter is comfortable, allow her to have a one-on-one conversation with the doctor, as she may feel free to share all her concerns when parental supervision is not around. The doctor generally inquires about your daughter’s medical history, the family’s medical history, and any pertinent lifestyle decisions she may be making. Her gynecologist might advise starting her on birth control if she is already sexually active or brings up the HPV vaccine. The first visit can be intimidating, so you must prepare your daughter for it by explaining what to anticipate. Also, reassure her that the doctor is there to assist her and answer any concerns.
Gynecological treatment doesn’t have to wait until your child is a senior or a freshman in college. The best and most thorough treatment plans start with pediatric and child care. A gynecologist visit is just as crucial to your child’s health as all the routine exams and vaccines she receives as a child. Your child’s reproductive system will be better protected and maintained for years.
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