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Tag: contraceptive options

When does my teenage daughter need a Pap smear?

As a practicing Ob/Gyn providing healthcare for female patients, I often get this question from mothers regarding their tween/teenage daughters.  Though the guidelines for requiring the first Pap smear have changed, to start at age 21, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends the first 'reproductive health visit' at ages 13-15.  This initial visit may not require a pelvic exam, unless your daughter is having menstrual difficulties (pelvic pain, menstrual cramping, abnormal/heavy periods) or is sexually active.  Contraceptive options, STD prevention, and the HPV vaccine may be discussed at this visit.
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