Complex Family Planning

Adolescent Gynecology Care

Age-Appropriate Reproductive and Sexual Healthcare for Teens and Young Adults

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that young women and individuals assigned female sex at birth have their first visit to the gynecologist between the ages of 13 and 15.

While that may sound surprising to some parents, there are clear and impressive benefits to establishing that relationship early. Teens who:

  • Feel comfortable and confident at the gynecologist’s office are more likely to share important medical or personal information that can impact their overall health.
  • Have a better understanding of the language and vocabulary will share concerns with parents or stop unwarranted/unsafe behavior.
  • Have trouble sharing questions or concerns with parents are more likely to talk with a gynecologist.
  • See a gynecologist can learn what’s normal (and what’s not) during their periods.
  • Visit a gynecologist will receive accurate information and education about their sexual and reproductive health instead of listening to the latest rumors or gossip.

Read the ACOG’s 21 reasons to see a gynecologist before you turn 21 by clicking the link below.

What to Expect During Your First Visit

For most healthy patients, the first visit to the gynecologist will consist of an open conversation and education. It’s unlikely that a pelvic exam will be needed (unless there is a specific condition or symptom to address). Your doctor will perform a general physical exam to get a better picture of your overall health.

Then, you’ll get a chance to know your gynecologist and ask any questions you may have. Your doctor will also share important information about your sexual, reproductive and overall health, including:

  • Contraception (birth control)
  • Hygiene
  • Mental health
  • Menstrual periods
  • Physical health
  • Peer and romantic relationships (and how to identify warning signs of unsafe relationships)
  • Puberty
  • Safe sex
  • Sexually-transmitted infections
  • Substance abuse
  • Vaccines (including the HPV vaccine)

The conversation and visit is tailored to the patient. While we encourage parental involvement, it is not required during the visit. If your parent, or another accompanying adult does join you, we will ask them to leave the room at some point so you can speak openly and honestly without fear of judgment. Information shared and topics discussed are kept confidential unless at the request of the patient, according to Georgia Law.

Tailored Care for Teens and Young Adults

Your teen and young adult years can be exciting and sometimes overwhelming. You’ll have new opportunities and experiences, some of them fun and interesting others may be confusing and uncertain.

But, amid all of that, you shouldn’t have to worry about your reproductive health. The family-planning specialists at Emory Healthcare provide age-appropriate gynecologic care for many teens and young adults, regardless of age or gender orientation.

We deliver informed, unbiased and non-judgement care that’s tailored to you, including:

  • Contraceptive counseling
  • Diagnosing, treating and managing gynecologic conditions, including pelvic pain, fibroids and more
  • Menstrual management for heavy bleeding, irregular periods, painful periods, or premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms that interfere with daily activities
  • Sexual health and education

Your family planning specialist can offer these services, in addition to many others. We also work closely the Adolescent and Young Adult Reproductive Clinic at the Emory Reproductive Clinic that manages complex gynecologic conditions and disorders.