Your First ObGyn Visit

Getting a regular pelvic exam and Pap smear is important for women, especially those over 21 years old.

Your age

Girls aged 13-15 should be checked by OB/GYN. Pelvic exams are rarely are done during this age. A girl’s first visit to her OB/GYN is mostly to establish a relationship with her doctor and also to look at her medical and sexual history, even if she has not had any experience yet. This first meeting is also an opportunity to for young girls to become more informed about intercourse, sexually transmitted diseases, and contraceptives/

As for pap tests, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend starting pap smear testing by age 21 or within 3 years of sexual intercourse. The ACOG also recommends getting a Pap smear test even though you have not had intercourse by your 21st birthday. Further, The ACOG recommends getting a Pap smear test yearly until you’re 30. Once she reaches that age, a healthy young woman can have the test every two or three years or as often as recommended by her gynecologist.

Conditions or situations when you should see your Ob/Gyn

  • If you have any unusual and/or persistent vaginal discharge,
  • If you experience bleeding between periods,
  • Or if your bleed after sexual intercourse.

By age 30, yearly Pap smears are not always necessary, but a yearly pelvic exam is. Women, regardless of age need to be examined yearly to check for changes or infections. The ACOG set up these guidelines with the knowledge that APC causes cervical cancer.

If you are sexually active, you should be aware that each new partner increases your risk of getting HPV by 15 percent, which means that multiple partners increases your risk of becoming infected with the virus significantly. The ACOG’s guidelines for testing women diagnosed with HIV or some other disease should get yearly Pap smears even after 30. The occurrence of cervical cancer is largely due to failing to get Pap smears based on the ACOG’s guidelines. A good number of women diagnosed with cervical cancer have not have a Pap smear test for more than five years. And by the time of diagnosis, often the cancer is already at an advanced stage.

Other circumstances where you should see your doctor include:

  • Pelvic pain or menstrual cramps severe enough to interfere with your daily routine a few days every month.
  • Abnormal bleeding which is strong enough to require changing napkins or tampons every two or three hours.

These conditions could be symptoms of vaginal infection, STD which could affect your fertility and may be a sign of other diseases including: endometriosis, pelvic Inflammatory disease, or other reproductive disorders.

If you think you are pregnant, you should see your doctor as immediately to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Seeing your OB/Gyn more often

If you experience any of the following conditions, you must see you doctor more often that once a year.

  • If you have a history of sexually related illness,
  • If you think that you have a sexually transmitted disease or infection,
  • If you have (or had) a partner who has (had) a sexually related disease or infection,
  • If you’re mom or sister had breast cancer before,
  • Or if you are planning on getting pregnant.

You should also see your doctor if you notice changes in your breasts including puckering, dimpling, discharge from your nipples which has nothing to do with breast feeding, a change in beast size, discomfort or emotional concerns before your period.