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Experts Corner

Pediatrics/Children's Health

Teen Girl's First GYN Appointment
By Barbara Parker, RN, ARNP, CNM

Q. In your opinion, at what age should a teenage girl stop seeing her pediatrician and start going to a gynecologist or ob-gyn?

A. The pediatricians that I know generally see kids until they turn 18. As for the GYN stuff, a pediatrician is fully qualified to do that up to that age, but may not feel comfortable and refer the girl on to someone else for it. It depends on the girl as well--is she comfortable with the pediatrician or would she rather have someone else now that she's "Grown Up". A young woman should start having regular well-woman exams when she first becomes sexually active, or when she turns 18. Although if she's not (and never has been) sexually active at 18, I don't mind putting that off a bit.

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