Pediatric offices are designed to be fully equipped to do clinical female exams (should that be necessary) or indicated by some sort of specific problem your daughter may be having with her menstrual cycle. For most girls, the onset of menstruation – while charted by the pediatric office – is not cause for a full female exam. Instead, parents and children will be educated and provided information about how to chart periods and things to look out for which may mean there is a problem. If your daughter has severe cramping or extremely heavy bleeding, you should see your pediatrician first – and have them refer you to an OBGYN (if necessary) that may be trained in pediatric gynecology.
One thing that is important for you to consider is whether or not your daughter will be comfortable with the pediatrician they currently have. For many young girls, talking about their periods and or undergoing examinations by a male pediatrician may make them uncomfortable. You should seek your daughter’s opinion on the matter, and see if they would be more comfortable seeing a female physician. Chances are, seeing a female will ease some of the embarrassment that can arise from having a male pediatrician, especially when issues of puberty are involved.
Feel free to go ahead and stick with your male pediatrician for routine visits/immunizations etc. Remember: your daughter is growing up, but she is certainly not fully grown. Pediatricians are specifically trained to deal with all the health aspects of your developing daughter, and are your best choice while they are still young.
The American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that all menstruating females have a thorough gynecological exam by the time they are 20 years old, or once they become sexually active. Until then, stick with your pediatrician – making sure that the doctor you choose is one that your daughter is comfortable around.
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