Gynecology is a medical specialty devoted to caring for and treating conditions affecting female reproductive health organs like the uterus, ovaries and vagina. Our pediatric and adolescent gynecologists provide infants, children, teens and young adults the care they need as their bodies change.
Gynecologic care for all stages of life
Every body is different, and people experience changes to their bodies at different ages. Our pediatric and adolescent gynecologists are here to deliver compassionate, personalized care to people born with female reproductive organs.
Accessing gynecologic care for the first time is a big, and sometimes nervous, moment in a young person’s life. Think of us as listeners, allies and guides on a healthy wellness journey. We’re here to empower young people to take the lead on their health and feel more comfortable within their bodies along the way.
We’ll explain what’s going to happen in every test and procedure, and we’ll address any concerns. That’s because doctor-patient trust and confidentiality are at the forefront of everything we do.
A good time to start seeing a gynecologist is between ages 13–15 — when many teens get their first period. Young people shouldn't hesitate to see a doctor earlier if they experience certain conditions like vaginal irritation or heavy bleeding during their period.
Our team of top pediatricians evaluates and treats a range of conditions, including:
Whether this is a first visit to the gynecologist or a routine check-up, we’ll take time to review each person’s medical history and perform a physical exam. Routine physicals help us keep an eye on a person’s changing body by checking:
- Blood pressure
- Heart beat (listening with a stethoscope)
- Lungs (listening with a stethoscope)
- Skin health
The doctor may also examine the outside of the vagina (vulva), depending on the reason for the appointment. Tests such as a pelvic exam or pap test are typically performed starting at age 21, unless other conditions (such as immunosuppression or HIV) are present.
Every young person has the opportunity to talk to the doctor privately about expectations for follow-up appointments and tips on general health and wellness.
We tell all young people who walk through our doors that we'll never ask or do anything that makes them feel uncomfortable. If they prefer to have a parent or caregiver in the room at any point during the visit, that’s their choice to make. And our discussions remain strictly confidential, unless the patient asks us to share with a parent or caregiver.
Our team of gynecologists help young people navigate their changing bodies and gynecologic conditions with care, trust and comfort. And once they mature into adulthood, we can seamlessly transition their treatment to our obstetrics and gynecology programs.
But first, our team works with young people so they can better understand what bodily changes are healthy or not, as well as discuss topics like periods, birth control and other health concerns. Our goal is to foster a relationship with young people where they feel comfortable talking with us about anything, including personal subjects that they might not want to discuss with their parents.
Young people can turn to us for preventive care measures, including:
- Prenatal care
- Preventive counseling for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases
Providing HPV vaccines
Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines offer the best protection available against cervical cancer, various types of HPV and genital warts. Oftentimes, a pediatrician will provide HPV vaccines. And should young people have any questions about the vaccine or the dangers of HPV, we can offer guidance.
It’s very smart to receive an HPV vaccine around ages 11 or 12, or before becoming sexually active. How many HPV vaccines a person receives depends on their age:
- People age 13 or younger require 2 shots
- People age 14 and up require 3 shots