What is an Adolescent Gynecology Exam?
An adolescent gynecology exam is done to help make sure that your reproductive organs and system are healthy. These are the organs related to your monthly menstrual cycles, to sexual activity, and to pregnancy and childbirth. These exams may be done as part of a yearly check-up for teenagers or young adults, however, you may need them sooner or more often as specified by your doctor.
Our adolescent medicine specialists are uniquely trained to serve the needs of teenagers and young women and can offer guidance on age-related issues as well as observe changes and address physical development as part of an adolescent gynecology exam.
What can I expect with an Adolescent Gynecology Exam?
There are three parts of the adolescent gynecology exam:
- external genital exam
- internal (bimanual) pelvic exam
- internal speculum exam
Depending on which part of the gynecological exam is done, the purpose of the exam is to make sure that your vulva, cervix, vagina, uterus and ovaries appear normal in size and position and that there are no signs of an infection. Your doctor will ask you about any pain and check for pain and lumps or other abnormalities.
What can I expect before an Adolescent Gynecology Exam?
Before your exam begins, the nurse and doctor will talk to you about your health and any possible problems you might have. Depending on your age and level of sexual development, the doctor might discuss sexual development, pregnancy prevention, and sexually transmitted infections (STI) with you.
Our adolescent medicine specialists take great care to examine and treat you in a way that is sensitive to your needs and age.
What can I expect during an Adolescent Gynecology Exam?
If you have had problems with pain or periods, irregular menstrual bleeding, or other issues related to sexual health or reproduction, your doctor will look for causes and may need to perform an interval pelvic exam. One or more parts of the exam may be performed during your visit.
There are three parts to the gynecological exam:
- External genital exam – Your doctor will examine the vulva or the outside of your genital area to identify any issues and determine if you are developing properly.
- Internal (bimanual) pelvic exam – Your doctor will feel inside your vagina buy inserting one or two lubricated, gloved fingers from one hand, while the other hand presses gently on the outside of your lower abdomen to check the size and shape of your uterus and ovaries.
- Internal speculum exam – Your doctor will use a device called a speculum to open and widen your genital area so your vagina and cervix can be seen. This may be used to do a pap smear or to assess other health concerns.
A female nurse or assistant may be present in the room during the examination. You can decide who you want or don't want in the room when the gynecological exam is performed. You may request your parent to be in the room for support. If any part of the gynecological exam makes you uncomfortable, discuss it with your doctor.
What can I expect after an Adolescent Gynecology Exam?
Your doctor will let you know the results of your exam, specifically your pap test, as soon as it is available. If needed, laboratory tests and radiologic exams may be ordered to evaluate menstrual or pelvic pain disorders or any problems you might have. We are here to answer any of your questions and to keep it confidential.
How do I prepare my child for an Adolescent Gynecology Exam?
Talk with your daughter and your physician before the exam to get answers to any questions you may have. Discuss why the exam is important and what it will entail, including your external exam, and possibly an internal pelvic exam.
What are the prep instructions before an Adolescent Gynecology Exam?
Follow these instructions to prepare for an Adolescent Gynecology Exam:
- Schedule your exam for a date when you will not be on your period
- Avoid vaginal intercourse for 24 hours before your exam
- Do not use a douche or insert anything into your vagina for 24 hours before your exam
What questions should I ask my provider about an Adolescent Gynecology Exam?
You may have the following questions about an Adolescent Gynecology Exam. Ask your doctor:
- At what age should I have my first pelvic and gynecology exam?
- What tests are done at an adolescent gynecology exam?
- How often do I need to see an adolescent medicine specialist?
- Do I need a pap test at an adolescent gynecology exam?
- How long does an adolescent gynecology exam last?
- Can I have a parent in the room with me during an adolescent gynecology exam?
Please feel free to ask your doctor any other questions you may have.