Posted on: 13 April 2015
Since gynecological exams are recommended for all women and girls starting at age 13-15, it's entirely possible that your daughter's first visit will come just a few months after puberty. This interaction with a women's health professional is a golden opportunity for your daughter to get some authoritative information and advice about her new body. But for an introverted teen, such sensitive subjects can be entirely too overwhelming on their own, and bringing them up during such an awkward exam seems completely out of the question.
As a parent, you can help ease awkwardness and ensure your introverted teen gets the advice and answers she needs by using these effective communication and planning techniques:
Your daughter is probably nervous about her first exam. Being an introvert, especially if she's also shy, may mean that she doesn't feel comfortable bringing up the subject. You'll need to designate a "meeting time" to talk through concerns about the upcoming appointment. During this time you should tell your daughter the following:
What to expect during the appointment, including paperwork, a basic physical exam, a urine sample, a breast exam, and an external exam (an internal exam won't be necessary if your daughter is healthy, and pap smears are only recommended at age 21 and above).
What questions she may need to answer, including personal and family medical history, information about her period, and other personal questions.
How important it is to be honest. Answering untruthfully can allow health problems to go untreated. Although the questions may seem awkward, they're routine for the gynecologist, who will not be shocked by the answers.
In addition, you should give your daughter the chance to voice any concerns or questions she has. Set this "meeting time" several days in advance, because introverts often like to think things through carefully before discussing them. If you put your daughter on the spot by demanding she tell you about her concerns immediately, she may be unable to verbalize them effectively. On the other hand, communicating thoughtfully with your daughter can significantly decrease her apprehension of her gynecologist's appointment.
Now that your daughter's worst fears have been relieved and she knows what to expect at her appointment, you'll need to help her plan the specifics. Logistical issues to discuss include:
Whether your daughter will have a male or a female gynecologist for the exam. Your introverted teen will probably be more comfortable with a female professional, but whatever her choice is, it's your job to check that your provider can accommodate it.
Whether you'll be in the room during the exam or not. It's always a good idea for the parent to leave the room for a few minutes during the exam, once your daughter is a little more comfortable with talking to her gynecologist. This gives your daughter a chance to broach any subjects she might feel embarrassed to bring up with you in the room.
Questions to ask the doctor
What questions she should ask the doctor. A commonly suggested idea is to have your teen write down her questions in advance so she doesn't forget any of them. But an introverted teen may have a hard time asking the questions in the first place, and may feel awkward reading them out loud. Go a step further to set your daughter up for success.
Give her the option of typing and printing her list so she can hand it to the doctor rather than reading it. You can also mention the list to the doctor, so he or she will bring it up and your daughter doesn't have to feel awkward trying to find the right words to mention it.
By using thoughtful communication and intelligent planning, you can go a long way toward maximizing the positive effect of your teen's first gynecological appointment. You can not only help her feel less awkward, but can also equip her with professional advice and improve her entire attitude about this important aspect of women's health.
To learn more, contact a company like Desert Rose OBGYN PC with any questions you have.Share