Gynecology FAQ

When should a woman first visit a gynecologist?

The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that a young woman make her first visit to a gynecologist between the ages of 13 and 15. Most girls will NOT need a pelvic exam during this visit. Your provider will do a regular health exam and discuss expected development. This provides a great “first impression” of the gynecologist for teens so that she can feel comfortable voicing any concerns that may arise.

How often should I visit the gynecologist?

Most women should see their gynecologist at least yearly. This allows for a full update of a patient’s medical history and the ability to perform surveillance for cancers specific to women, such as breast, uterine, ovarian, and cervical cancer via the Pap smear.

When does a woman start needing a Pap smear?

For all women, the recommended age to start Pap smears is 21.

I am scheduled for my pap smear and just got my period. Should I reschedule?

We can usually still perform a pap smear unless the flow is very heavy.

Recommended resources:

HPV information from ACOG

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