Did you know that 25 million women in the United States live below the poverty line? This means they might not have access to proper period products and gynecological care.
This statistic includes children and teenagers. It doesn’t cross people’s mind that often young girls also need gynecological care. That’s why pediatric gynecologists exist.
So what is a pediatric gynecologist and why are they important? Keep reading to find out.
What Is a Pediatric Gynecologist?
Although a lot of people are not familiar with this subspecialty, pediatric gynecologists do important work.
They specialize in caring for the gynecologic needs of young girls and adolescents.
Pediatric gynecologists undergo further training after they complete their Obstetrics and Gynecology training.
Their specialized training deals with concerns such as ovarian cysts among other problems that arise during puberty such as menstrual cycles. The reproductive organs of children also present other complications that only pediatric gynecologists can address.
What Do They Do and Treat?
The pediatric gynecologist subspecialty focuses on children and adolescents, but within the field, they perform a wide variety of services.
They perform routine gynecological exams in children, so they need to be specially trained to make children feel comfortable. Of course, gynecologists must also diagnose and treat health problems.
Pediatric gynecologists and their teams also do the following:
- Order and run labs and diagnose based on the result
- Prescribe medication to treat the condition
- Educate children and adolescents on self-hygiene
- Teach them about safe sex, STIs, and pregnancy
- Offer, or talk about contraceptives and usage
- Listen to the patient’s health concerns
- Promote wellness and give other tools to succeed
- Fully explain the patient and their family a procedure
- Perform procedures
- Postoperative care
These are some of the services pediatric gynecologists perform. They might vary depending on the practice.
What to Expect During Your Visit?
As with any medical visit, you can expect some of the usual procedures. You will be asked to fill out forms to disclose your most up to date medical information.
The staff will need to see your insurance card to break down your payment options. Depending on the age of your daughter, you will have to fill out the forms or sign a consent to certain procedures.
Once all of the paperwork is out of the way, the nurse will take the patient into the room to start the exam.
Either a medical assistant or a nurse will take your daughters’ vitals, weight, and height. You might also want to provide a list of medications your daughter currently takes. Don’t forget to mention any allergies your daughter might suffer from.
In order to get a full overview of your daughter’s health, she will be asked to provide a urine sample. This might vary depending on the doctor and the type of condition your daughter is going in for.
Before the gynecologist comes into the exam room the medical assistant or nurse practitioner will go over any further questions. It will also be your opportunity to ask any further questions.
Role as a Parent
As a parent, you might be concerned about what your role will be during the examination. Since your daughter is a minor, you will be torn between wanting to be there with them or give them their privacy.
Depending on the age of your daughter, the doctor might ask you to step out of the exam room so they can ask your daughter some questions. This will be the time for your daughter to discuss anything they want in private without a parent being present.
The doctor will respect your doctor-patient confidentiality, so it will be up to you to disclose any information.
For the portion part of the exam, your daughter can decide if she will feel more comfortable with you in the room.
During the exam, the doctor will focus on the pelvis, abdomen, and outer genital area. Pediatric gynecologists are trained to be gentle and make young girls feel comfortable.
Since the experience can make girls quite anxious, doctors are as respectful as possible.
Depending on the condition, the doctor might need to perform a more complete exam which might include the following:
- Blood Sample
- Pap Smear
- STI testing
- Urine test
The doctor will decide which tests are necessary to understand and treat these conditions.
Although it might not be as talked about as often, infants, children, and teenagers can face many gynecologic issues.
Some of the most common issues treated by pediatric gynecology are:
- Ovarian cysts
- Cervical dysplasia
- Breast masses
- Abnormal menstrual cycle
- Ambiguous genitalia
- Genital abnormalities
- Lichen Sclerosis
- Pelvic Masses
- Vaginal Trauma
- Precocious or late puberty
- Vaginal discharge
- Ovarian and tubal torsion
- Vaginal infections
- Turner Syndrome
- Vaginal septum
- Pelvic pain
Although the list of conditions can be more extensive, you should check with a pediatric gynecologist to see everything they treat.
Once the pediatric gynecologist diagnoses the condition, they will offer a treatment plan. The condition might be easily treated with medication, however, some other conditions require more treatments.
Pediatric gynecologists might need to use hormone therapy, surgical treatments, or vaginal reconstruction procedures. Other less invasive treatments include HPV vaccine, menstrual regulation, or counseling.
What is a Pediatric Gynecologist: The Bottom Line
What is a pediatric gynecologist? Now that you know the answer to this question, you’ll be able to feel more comfortable reaching out to one if your daughter or someone close to you needs one.
Are you looking for pediatric gynecologist services? Contact us at Comprehensive Care Center.
Want more useful tips? Check out this article on 5 essential health tips for women