As a mom, you knew that the day would come when you’d decide about the right time when your daughter will make her first gynaecologist visit. Since your daughter is growing up, you’d want her to have the best reproductive healthcare there is, but you know that she might feel anxious or embarrassed to get a regular check-up. To provide the best health care for your child, follow this step-by-step guide to help you determine when your daughter should visit a gynae, as well as the following tips to prepare her for the upcoming gynae appointment.
Right Time to Visit a Gynaecologist
Taking cues from your daughter is essential when it comes to thinking about the right time to consider gynaecology from Thomson Medical hospital in Singapore as they are one of the more well known hospitals for women. If your daughter is experiencing extreme discomfort with her periods or is starting to become sexually active, then it’s never too early to make an appointment.
If she’s fine with the changes her body is going through, then send your daughter to a clinic or hospital visit when she reaches 21 years old. But if she’s sexually active or has been complaining about menstrual cycle problems then she should be visiting a specialist sooner than the suggested age.
Preparations and Explanations
Once you’re done deciding on the right time to visit the gynae, the next step is to prepare your daughter for her upcoming visit and explain the importance of that appointment.
Education and Treatment
A Singapore gynaecologist is someone who can provide information about topics your daughter might be too anxious or embarrassed to ask you. By visiting the gynaecologist, she’ll be able to have a confidential source of accurate information, and learn about different treatments of some embarrassing problems. Most girls have their personal questions by their friends, and having a specialist to talk to, provides her with a more reliable outlet to voice out her concerns.
Talk with your daughter beforehand about how you’ll be involved in the appointment to make the day of the scheduled gynae visit smoother and less awkward. Depending on her age and level of maturity, you can both decide on what will work best for both of you:
• Does she want you to take her to the ob-gyn’s clinic?
• Does she want you to come to the examination room with her?
• Can the messages be left on your house phone for everyone to hear?
Ensure that your daughter is fully aware of the importance of being open and honest during the gynaecology appointment. Make her understand that the topics she discussed with the gynaecologist is confidential. Also, let her know that she can ask any question or voice out any concern that she has. Assure her that there is nothing the gynae hasn’t heard before and that the person is there to help her.
Prepare your daughter to answer all the questions that the specialist might ask. She’ll likely feel uncomfortable talking about certain things for the first time, but knowing all the answers to the possible questions ahead of time will surely help her and her gynae throughout the appointment. Some of the questions that’ll likely be asked to your daughter are as follows:
• When did you have your last period?
• Are you sexually active?
• If so, have you been using birth control?
• Are you with multiple or one partner?
• Have you experienced problems with your period such as an unusual discharge or pain?
• Is there a chance that you could be pregnant?
Discuss the Appointment
Once you’re done explaining the importance of visiting the gynae, it’s now time to brief your daughter as to how the appointment might play out. Make her understand that there are various parts to complete an examination.
Essential Tests and Examinations
1. Physical Examination. The physical examination is simply a series of examination related with her blood pressure, height and weight. Other than that, the gynaecologist might also ask her for a urine sample. Explain to your daughter that this part of the examination will serve as a baseline for your future gynaecology visits.
2. Breast Examination. Although occurrences of breast cancer is rare among teens, undergoing a breast examination will teach your daughter how to perform a self-examination. This will help her learn how her breasts feel so she’ll know when something unusual grows in the future. The specialist will likely explain the significance of self-examination and what she’ll do if she ever feels a lump in her breasts.
3. External Examination. In this examination, inform your daughter that she’ll be asked to change into a hospital gown, place a sheet on her lap and lie back. During this time, the specialist will examine her vulva (external genitalia) and look for any possible problems like sores and swelling. While this can appear awkward, assure her that no instruments will be used during this period nor will she experience any kind of pain.
4. Internal Examination. If it’s your daughter’s first gynae visit, then it’s unlikely that she’ll undergo an internal exam. Still, the doctor will come up with that decision based on her medical history and the information she’ll get from your daughter. If the gynaecologist decides to proceed with an internal exam, inform your daughter that the doctor will use her hands and a speculum to view the walls of her cervix and vagina, but no pain should still be felt.
5. Pap Smear Test. Gynaecologists usually recommend taking a Pap smear test at the age of 21 or when a woman has already entered the maternity stage. During this exam, cells will be taken from your daughter’s cervix and will be sent to the lab to check for some unusual changes and cervical cancer cells. The specialist might even recommend having a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to keep your daughter from acquiring certain types of cancer.
6. STD Testing. This is one of the optional parts of the appointment, but if your daughter is sexually active then she should be tested. If STD testing will be recommended, your daughter will be tested using blood or urine samples, or by using a cotton swab like that of the Pap smear test. Once the testing is done, the gynae will likely talk with your daughter about how STDs can be transmitted.
Once her appointment is over, talk with your daughter about how she felt with the visit. If she felt that the staff made her feel uncomfortable, then do look for a new office and doctor for her next gynae visit. With this, you’ll be able to help your daughter attend her annual appointments to stay healthy.