Our goal is to answer frequently asked questions from both parents and their daughters. We welcome your input about this page as we are always striving to provide the best possible care to our patients and to meet their needs.
Although all the providers in the office see patients in all age groups, our Nurse Practitioners, Trish and Margot both have a special interest in, and enjoy working with the adolescent population and are accepting new patients. Young women can be assured privacy and confidentiality, even if their mom or other relative is a patient at this office.
We are frequently asked at what age a young woman should start seeing a provider at the gynecology office. The answer is not age specific. There are many reasons a woman should consider a visit to this office.
A visit to the gynecology office provides an opportunity for education as it relates to female anatomy, menstruation (i.e. periods), sexual activity, birth control options and information on the transmission and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and infections (STIs).
Many times, young women have questions that they don’t want to or are afraid to ask their parents. A gynecology provider can help answer her questions. The reverse may also be true; a parent may not feel prepared or comfortable answering questions. And parents please remember, just because your daughter has questions does not mean she has become sexually active She may just want to make an informed decisio, or clarifying information she has heard from her friends and peers.
Certainly, when a young woman becomes sexually active, she should start gynecology exams. This being said, she may want to visit prior to sexual activity for information and education. Becoming sexually active should be a decision that is given thought and not happen in the heat of the moment. One should understand potential consequences of sexual activity. Sexual activity is by far not the only reason a woman visits a gynecology office.
Having your first gynecology visit and exam can be an anxiety-producing event. Many times, there are preconceived ideas of what actually happen during this exam. It is appropriate to talk to girlfriends or adults who have had a gynecology exam for their input, but all information may not be accurate.
Visits can be with the young woman alone or with a parent, friend or relative. The choice is up to the young woman herself; it should not be solely the choice of the parent. This can be a touchy subject as many times the young woman is a minor. It is important to know that according to NH State law, a minor can legally be prescribed birth control, be diagnosed and treated for STDs, and counseled in therapeutic termination of pregnancy without parental consent. Parents should support the concept of confidentiality as it relates to women’s health care for their daughter. Women’s health care in the adolescent population is best delivered in an atmosphere of genuine trust. We encourage parents and their daughters to have open and honest discussions which will result in stronger parental and child bonds, but this is not always the case.
Specific reasons for an appointment at the gynecology office include, but are not limited to sexual activity, menstrual problems which encompasses heavy periods, irregular periods, severe cramping, pelvic pain and abnormal vaginal discharge with odor or itching.