Many mothers ask when to bring their daughters in to see the gynecologist. In reality, no set age is right for everyone. Menarche (first menses or period) typically occurs between ages 10-13.
These girls only need to be seen if they are having problems with prolonged or heavy bleeding or severe cramping. We often do an abdominal sonogram on these young girls instead of an internal exam.
We offer the Gardasil vaccine and counseling, which should occur from ages 10-18, ideally before first sexual activity. NO exam is performed at this visit. This vaccine does not promote sexual activity in young girls and can protect them from pre-cancer and cancer cells on the cervix later in life. The vaccine reduces these risks by at least 80%. This helps decrease the chance of future abnormal PAP smears, biopsies, and treatment on the cervix.
Young ladies with no menstrual problems and who are not sexually active do not need a PAP smear until they are 21 years old.