I’ve had my period for a few years now — is it time for me to start seeing a gynecologist?
– Cindy*

Probably. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that a girl first see a gynecologist andnbsp;between the ages of 13 and 15.

Other health care providers who see teens for sexual health wellness visitsandnbsp;include adolescent medicine physicians and family practice doctors, as well as nurse midwives and nurse practitioners.

Your gynecologist (or other expert health care provider) can:

  • make sure that your reproductive system is problem free
  • help you avoid problems in the future
  • answer your questions about how your reproductive system works, your period, or your body

Here are other reasons to see your health care provider or gynecologist:

  • if you've had sex (including oral or anal sex) or are thinking aboutandnbsp;having sex
  • if you've had your period for more than a year or two and your periods are still not regular (don't happen monthly)
  • if your periods are heavy, last for more than a week, or are very painful

See a doctor right awayandnbsp;if you:

  • haveandnbsp;pain or discomfort in your vagina, lower abdomen, or when you pee
  • have changes in your vaginal discharge or odor
  • think that you might have an STDandnbsp;(or that your partner might have one)

Getting into the habit of seeing a gynecologist yearly is a great way to ensure your good health now and in the future.

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

Reviewed by: Julia Brown Lancaster, BSN, RN, CAPA

Date Reviewed: 11/4/2015