Opinion on first reproductive healthcare visit issued

July 1, 2010

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has issued a new committee opinion stating that the first dedicated reproductive health visit should take place when a girl is between 13 and 15 years.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has issued a new committee opinion stating that the first dedicated reproductive health visit should take place when a girl is between 13 and 15 years of age. This updated opinion was published in the July issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The group advises that the patient's first visit to an obstetrician-gynecologist should include a description of the examination process for the patient. The physician could perform a general physical examination, but the committee states that an internal pelvic examination is generally unnecessary during the initial reproductive health visit unless the patient is symptomatic. The initial consultation should consist of the provider offering preventive healthcare services, including educational information, rather than concentrating on problem-focused care.

The committee also recommends discussing issues of confidentiality with both the adolescent and her parent(s) and advising the patient on relevant state and local laws regarding this topic.