Mothers are often ignorant of the fact – the right time for their daughter to visit a doctor? The answer: During late childhood and adolescence (11- to 18-years-old), a girl could see a pediatrician or a gynecology provider to address different health issues.
Which doctor to go to- Gynecology or Family Medicine?
Gynecology and physician can both provide preventative health exams and screen for disease. How do you choose which one for your daughter to see?
Choose a Pediatrician When She Has:
- A chronic medical condition like diabetes, high blood pressure, or chronic pain requires medication or regular lab work.
- An acute condition that may need antibiotics, like ear infections, strep throat, or upper respiratory symptoms.
- New pain or a recent injury.
Choose a Gynecology Provider When She Has:
- Questions or concerns about her reproductive system, including breasts, uterus, ovaries, and vulva. Sometimes, issues with the reproductive system can cause urological or gastrointestinal symptoms.
- Questions or issues with menstruation, pregnancy, fertility, or contraception.
- Sexual health concerns, including libido, pain, or abuse.
- Need for preventative exams or screenings.
Pediatrics and Gynecology have an overlap in the services they provide to young women. This includes birth control, thyroid disorders, and mood changes. If your child is experiencing one of these issues, start with whichever practitioner she feels most comfortable with. They can guide you to another specialty if they are not able to address her concerns.
Health Issues that need to be handled by a Gynecologist
In some instances, it would be appropriate for her to see a gynecology provider. These include:
- Delayed puberty (no breast tissue changes before 14)
- Delayed menarche (no menstrual cycles before 16)
- Menstrual cycles that are painful and cause her to miss school or activities
- Unable to use a tampon
- Sexual health concerns
- Contraceptive needs