Preventative Gynecologic Care for the Adolescent


Preventative gynecologic care is when a girl has regular checkups with her pediatric-adolescent gynecologist to:

  • Check on the health of her female organs
  • Detect any problems early when they are most treatable
  • Get accurate information and confidential answers to any questions or concerns she may have

Patients can be seen by Texas Children's experts in Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology.

What is involved in a preventative gynecologic care visit?

Preventative visits may include some or all of the following when indicated:

  • Medical history – including questions about your menstrual cycle and sexual activity
  • Urine test
  • Blood test
  • External examination of the pelvic area
  • Internal examination of the pelvic area (typically not on your first visit)
  • Pap test – to check for any precancerous or cancerous cells
  • Breast exam – to check for lumps or abnormalities
  • Testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (optional)

The preventative visit is also an opportunity for girls to have confidential discussions with their physician about topics such as menstrual problems, sexual activity, contraception, preventing and screening for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), their changing body, pregnancy, and any other female health issues.

How often should I have preventative visits?

Annual visits are recommended if you have no health issues or concerns. For young women who are sexually active with multiple partners, semi-annual visits are recommended.

When should I have my first preventative visit?

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recommends that young women have their first visit with an obstetrician-gynecologist (Ob/Gyn) between the ages of 13 and 15, or when they become sexually active, whichever comes first.

The first visit typically does not include a pelvic exam, unless you are having problems or symptoms such as abnormal bleeding or pelvic pain.

Pap smears are recommended beginning at age 21 or after you become sexually active, whichever comes first.