The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that teens have their first visit with a gynecologist between the ages of 13 and 15. Unless you are having pelvic pain or problem menstruation, there is probably no need for a pelvic exam or Pap test. However, there are many benefits to be gained from this first visit.
A first meeting with a parent or other trusted adult present gives you the opportunity to establish a comfortable relationship with the physician. In addition, you can discuss normal developmental changes, menstruation, and healthy lifestyle practices. In future appointments, you may prefer to meet with the physician on your own. You may appreciate the opportunity to speak confidentially with a knowledgeable expert about safe sex, birth control, STD’s and the “playground myths” that provide teens with so much misinformation.
If you have not already been vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV), the teen years are a good time to consider this protection against cervical cancer and genital warts. This is an important issue to discuss with the physician who will provide information about the vaccine and its benefits so you can make a decision that is right for you.
And of course, if health concerns occur, you should have a physician you can trust to provide the best health care possible. A first pelvic exam and Pap test should be scheduled within the months after you become sexually active or about the age of 21.