You have blossomed from a little girl to a young girl. You need to know everything about your reproductive system, why do you get periods, what is normal and what is abnormal, when should you get alarmed and what are the myths related to periods. This is when you first need to see a gynecologist!
Your periods being regular are enough proof that all is well with your reproductive system. But unless you understand what is normal, you will never know if there is any problem, disease or dysfunction of the system, and you would never realize what are heavy or scanty periods, early or late periods, or painful periods - which ones are normal and which are pathological?
Your hormones are swinging and you have grown from a young little girl to an older young girl. It is important for you to understand how pregnancy occurs, how to prevent it, how to avoid unsafe sex and unwanted pregnancies you also need to know how to stay healthy and prevent long term complications of any of these problems, if they occur. This is when you need to see your gynecologist once again! Your gynaec is your friend. She will guide you, offer you all the help you need and will advise you on whatever you needed to know but were shy to ask. This is the age when a lot can go wrong, and it can be prevented by some simple tips, some vaccinations, and loads of correct information and advice.
How should you decide whom you should see? Talk to your mother and she will guide you right. There are some mothers who will encourage you to see the gynecologist, but there are many who may tell their daughters that they need to go only if they have a problem. This is something I don’t agree with. I always believe in preventive healthcare and I truly believe that good information goes a long way in safe and healthy practices, which prevent problems. So why wait for a problem to occur? For example there are many mothers who believe that pain is part of menstruation and allow their daughters to suffer their monthly pain which makes young girls develop a negative attitude towards menstruation. They do not realize that though pain maybe physiological, but when it interferes with daily routine, it could be due to disease within the ovaries or uterus and if detected in time, it could prevent a lot of long term damage to their daughters reproductive organs.
Your first visit to the gynecologist may make you anxious and apprehensive. You really don’t need to be! You should preferably go with your mother or a guardian the first time, so that you are comfortable. The doctor will note your history and will examine you, mainly externally. But if you are sexually active, she may carry out an internal examination. You need to relax and not be tense, because when you relax it is easier for her to examine and make a quick assessment. Please remember that an internal examination is never carried out on a young girl who has not yet indulged in any sexual activity.
During your visit, the doctor may suggest a few investigations to check on your hemoglobin, thyroid and Vitamin B 12 and Vitamin D levels. She will also guide you on your vaccinations which are absolutely necessary to prevent sexually transmitted infections. Such infections if they occur can ultimately cause you a lot of harm including causing cancer, besides being transmitted to your baby when you are pregnant.
So see your gynecologist, feel strong and confident about the facts of life, and stay healthy!