So I am 16-years-old and am turning 17 in a few days and I haven’t been to the vagina doctor yet. How do I set that up? Am I supposed to go to my regular doctor first? I don’t even know how to make my first gynecologist appointment or if I should tell my mom. Help!
Going to the gynecologist for the first time can definitely be intimidating. I remember when I had to make an appointment – I was so freaked out about it that I tried to avoid it for as long as possible until my mom forced me to go. I’m glad you’re a little more proactive than I was!
The good news is that making your first gyno appointment is really not as hard or as intimidating as it may seem. You have a few options, so let’s go over them!
One: you can make an appointment with your regular doctor, talk to him/her, and see if they have any recommendations. They most likely do, and can give you a few names and numbers that you can call. If you’re nervous and feel comfortable doing so, you can ask your general doctor what the appointment will be like and get a few tips. Asking your doctor for recommendations is a great way to start, especially if you trust this doctor.
Two: if you for some reason don’t want to do that, you can definitely ask your mom. I’m actually a little surprised she didn’t bring it up to you first. Your mom for sure goes to a gynecologist, and you can probably go to the same one as her. If you feel weird talking to your mom about that kind of thing, or this isn’t an option, than go back to option one. Or, read on.
Three: Do a little research of your own. Talk to friends who have been to the gyno, look up gynecologist offices near your house online, and check out some reviews. You’ll be able to find someone close to you in no time at all.
Four: Go to a Planned Parenthood. It sounds like you have a doctor to go to for help, but if you didn’t, you always have the option of Planned Parenthood. You can get healthcare there, or they can give out recommendations as well.
And that’s all there is to it! Most insurances don’t require a referral to go to the gyno (this is almost like a prescription from another doctor saying you need to go), but double check if yours requires that just to be sure. Once you have a name, call and make an appointment – they’ll ask if you’re new, and you just say yes. And then go in! You might feel uncomfortable and awkward during your first appointment, but that’s normal. If you for some reason don’t like the doctor or get weird vibes, then just choose another doctor/office for your next appointment. Good luck!
What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at firstname.lastname@example.org