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How to Prepare Your Teen for That First Ob-Gyn Visit

TUESDAY, May 30, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A teen's first visit to an obstetrician-gynecologist can be intimidating, so one gynecologist offers moms some tips to help make the experience easier for daughters.

"Before you go, explain why regular ob-gyn visits are important. Not all doctor visits are just because you're feeling sick," said Dr. Julie Jacobstein, an adolescent gynecologist with LifeBridge Health in Baltimore. "Going to the ob-gyn provides your daughter with a safe space to ask questions and learn about prevention.

"Let your daughter know that the first visit is often just a way to establish a relationship with your ob-gyn," Jacobstein advised in a LifeBridge news release.

You should also prepare your daughter for questions about her medical history.

"Ensuring that your daughter understands why the doctor needs this information and knows what questions will be asked can often make the conversation more comfortable. Arriving with a vaccination history can also be helpful," Jacobstein said.

It's also important to explain the parts of the physical exam, including a breast exam, and offer reassurance that it won't take too long.

"Teens are often most concerned about the physical exam, however there are many parts to an ob-gyn visit, and the physical exam is often a minor part," said Jacobstein, who noted that a pelvic exam is not always done on a first visit.

"Address any additional concerns your daughter may have before the visit. Explain to her that she shouldn't feel embarrassed and that it's important for all women to have regular ob-gyn visits," she said.

"After the visit, talk to her about how it went. If your daughter mentions that she felt uncomfortable with the doctor or nurse practitioner, consider finding a new one," Jacobstein said.

"By being open and discussing the experience with your daughter, you can help to make the first visit to an ob-gyn a more comfortable one," she added.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on women's health.

SOURCE: LifeBridge Health, news release, May 2017

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