Medical Minute: Importance of gynecological visits for teens

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Published: May. 6, 2022 at 6:42 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Why is it important to talk about a period with your teen? I know it is something that can be considered taboo, what are the important things to remember?

“I think all the women watching this could probably remember a situation from their adolescence where they started their first menstrual period and they had an embarrassing situation,” said Avera OB/GYN Dr. Dominique Boadwine.

“Menarche is a state of life where you have your first menstrual period and it’s a big change for adolescents who are not informed of what is happening with their bodies. It can be scary and very awkward for young women,” said Dr. Boadwine.

Is there a specific age to vaccinate your teen for HPV?

“Eleven to twelve years old would be when we recommend vaccinating against the Human papillomavirus. It is now covered by most insurances up to the age of 45,” said Dr. Boadwine.

“I can’t stress the HPV vaccine enough,” said Dr. Boadwine.

Are there any other problems that you have seen to be aware of, or that a teen can look out for to maintain their health?

“What people don’t realize is your menstrual cycle could be a sign of disease. It can be a vital sign. So just like a fever or high blood pressure, that would indicate a disease processor menstrual cycle abnormalities can clue us into something going on,” said Dr. Boadwine.

Is there anything of note you think is important for parents that have a teen that told them that they just got their period to know moving forward?

“I think creating a positive environment and being the person who educates your child on the changes of their body is important so you establish a relationship to talk about different challenging topics that are going to come up in the next couple of years about sexual health,” said Dr. Boadwine.

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