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I'm here with Dr. Heather York with Women's Care in Eugene and today we're talking about young women and their first checkup. Let's start with the most important question of all, when should girls go to the gynecologist for the first time?
"It's recommended to have the first visit at age 18 or earlier if they're having any kinds of problem. Things I'd usually see younger women for would be problems with their period, acne or hormonal issues or need for contraception."
What happens at the first visit? I'm sure for a young woman or girl this is going to be a scary experience for the first time?
"There's a lot talking involved. Sometimes we don't need to do a physical exam and the talking includes the problem that's going on. I always encourage girls and women to make sure they're honest and up front about the issues they're having because in order to take good care of someone you really need to know what's going on. The exam part would include a full physical exam with a breast exam and pelvic exam."
Should they expect discomfort of any kind?
"For most people it's uncomfortable but not painful."
What do girls need to know about their family history? Maybe they should talk to their parents before their visit?
"That's a good idea. Most importantly family history of cancer, or blood clots or things that can be inherited. The other factors as they get older, like diabetes and high blood pressure."
Will girls need to talk about if they're sexually active because that can be something they're really concerned about, maybe their parents aren't aware?
"They will need to talk about it but not in great detail. Usually a yes or no answer will suffice, but that is important for the doctor to know."
Thank you, Dr. York. For more information on your first checkup you can go to our website at kezi.com. We will have a link to the Women's Care site.