Gynecologists are specialists who are specialized in treating reproductive tract problems of women. In the case of girls, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology (ACOG) recommends them to visit or see a gynecologist when they are between the ages of 13 and 15 years of age.
- The average age of menstruation in girls begins from the age of 13 and they may suffer from various gynecological problems, which should never be overlooked. Seeing a gynecologist would help in dealing with the following issues-
- It will help you in understanding your body and how to care for it
- Your doctor would be able to find the problems early such as signs of vaginal infection, vaginal discharge etc so that they can be treated with immediate effect.
- Teach you about hygienic tips to adhere to during your menstrual days.
- Provide you guidance about how to protect yourself from unhealthy sexual activities.
A girl should also start consulting a gynecologist if she does not get periods by the age of 16 and in such case, she is evaluated for endocrine/genetic issues like Turner’s syndrome or for an anatomical problem. Adolescent girls should not be shy of visiting a gynecologist in case they are facing the following medical issues or problems such as-
- ☛ Menstrual disorders– About 75% of adolescent girls suffer from menstrual disorders. These range from absence of menses to having heavy or prolonged bleeding. It is common to have abnormal periods during the first two years of menstruation (11- 14 years) in most cases.
- However, if you are younger than 11 and is experiencing vaginal or uterine bleeding or is over 15 but not yet menstruated then it is the right time to consult a gynecologist.
- ☛ Dysmenorrhea – Dysmenorrhea also known as painful periods or menstrual cramps is the most common cause of absenteeism from school or at workplaces among 40 to 90 percent of girls. An adolescent girl cannot overlook severe menstrual cramps or heavy menstrual bleeding and as such, she should visit a gynecologist immediately.
- ☛ Vaginal discharge – Vaginal discharge is quite noticeable in adolescent girls with symptoms that include itchiness in the vaginal area, white or thick discharge, soreness, and burning sensation during urination. As such, a visit to gynecologist would help in responding to the treatment procedures and in the maintenance of hygiene.
- ☛ HPV Infections – These are the most common sexually transmitted infections in young girls who are sexually active. The majority of HPV infections are transient and asymptomatic with a smaller percentage of adolescents having persistent infections and in need of further treatment.
- ☛ Endometriosis – It is a medical condition where there is a presence of uterine glands outside the uterus. Endometriosis is usually observed in girls of adolescent age having persistent dysmenorrhoea and not responding to oral drug therapy. Endometriosis requires medical treatment and complementary therapies for the management of this disease.
Finally, it can be concluded that girls should start consulting a gynecologist or obstetrician for maintaining their reproductive health.