It's a fact of life for every woman that she will need to eventually visit the gynecologist in order to be responsible for her own health. This first visit usually occurs when one is a teen. You can help your daughter feel more at ease for her first appointment with the tips below.
Tip #1: Go over expectations
Many teens are very nervous about the first appointment, particularly of the physical examination. Take some time to explain what the exam entails. This will help dispel any bad information she may have heard from friends and classmates, which can help set her mind at ease. If you don't feel comfortable discussing what to expect with your teen, then there is another option. Many gynecologists have new patient programs for teens. A doctor, physicians assistant, or nurse may host Q&A sessions, either group or individual sessions, where you teen can ask questions and learn more about what to expect during the health exam.
Tip #2: Help empower her about her health
Encourage your daughter to create a list of questions and concerns to bring to her first visit. These don't have to be extensive or complicated. Simple questions, like asking about dietary methods to help with menstrual symptoms, will encourage your teen to open up a discussion with her doctor. Talking with the gynecologist helps set many teens at ease. It also empowers them to take charge in managing their health later when their questions are likely to become more complicated.
Tip #3: Schedule at the best time
The high stress and emotions often experienced by a teen during their first exam can be exhausting. You don't want to schedule right before a major event or in the morning before school starts. Instead, plan to take the whole day off. Plan something pleasant afterward, such as a nice lunch out or a movie. This will help relax your teen. Being able to associate a pleasant memory with the day can help cut down on future apprehension about gyno visits.
Tip #4: Respect her privacy
Before the visit, ask your daughter what she wants in terms of privacy, and then follow her wishes. Some teens want a parent to be present for the entire visit, others want to handle the entire thing on their own. Still others fall in between, wanting a parent present for the discussion parts but privacy during the physical exam. Respect your teen's wishes. If she changes her mind in the midst of the appointment and asks you to stay or leave, you should respect this request as well. Further, if she requested privacy, don't pester her to share what she discussed with the doctor. This may discourage her from discussing health concerns with a medical provider in the future, which could be extremely detrimental to her health.
For more help, contact a gynecology office like Desert Rose OBGYN PC in your area.