Q: At what age should my daughter start seeing a gynecologist?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that girls first see a gynecologist between the ages of 13 and 15. This initial exam usually will not include a pelvic exam, unless you are having problems that need to be addressed. This appointment is meant to educate patients and to establish a relationship with them. Topics that may be addressed include talking about their period, cramps associated with their period, acne, weight issues, sex and the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, healthy habits, and the use of alcohol, drugs and smoking. Pap testing does not start until age 21, this checks for abnormal changes that can occur in the cervix. STD screening is indicated once sexual activity begins, although this can be done with a urine test. While your daughter could potentially see her pediatrician as a teen, this is a great time for her to find a gynecologist that she likes, and to start building a relationship, so that she is comfortable talking about concerns and asking questions as she gets older.