An open letter to Teens from Dr. Price
Welcome to Women’s Center for Integrative Health. What an exciting time this must be for you, as a young woman in this age of the Internet, diverse music, iPads, sports, texting, hobbies, academics and that strange species you find yourself noticing more and more from a distance – namely “Boys!” It is important for you to start thinking about your female health now, in order to prevent problems in the future. I can explain how preventive healthcare and annual visits can help ensure better overall wellness, both now as you develop, and in the future.
I understand that your teenage years can be a very confusing time. Your body is changing, and you probably have many questions. You may not always be comfortable talking to your parents. Maybe you sense that your parents are a bit uncomfortable with the subject, too. More than often, your friends might act like they know everything, but you suspect some of this is just “big talk” or “flossing” and not likely based on medical facts. Your hunch is correct!
I want you to know that I understand your concerns. I have been a physician for over 15 years, and also have a young daughter. More so, I was once a teenage girl myself – not too long ago! You do not have to be embarrassed to ask me about anything that concerns you. I will answer all of your questions honestly and give you all of the facts you need.
Rest assured, our conversations will be held strictly confidential. Know that I will never tell your parents what we talk about in privacy, unless you give me written permission. Not only is that my firm policy, it is also the law. I will however, encourage you to become comfortable talking to your parents.
Finally, you might be worried that your visit to my practice will involve an uncomfortable exam. This is usually not the case. Most of your visit will involve sitting together in my office and talking about teen health and anything that concerns you. Again, feel free to ask me about anything you like.
Meeting teens for their first appointment, along with delivering babies, is truly the greatest joy in my job. My most frequent prescription to all women, young and old, is to “~ Love Thyself.” I look forward to meeting you, laughing and sharing.
Your First Visit
The first visit to a gynecologist’s office can often be a time of anxiety and stress for a young woman. It is important for a young woman’s first gynecology appointment to establish a foundation for lifelong wellness. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology now recommends that girls have their first visit with a gynecologist between the ages of 13 and 15. Dr. Price believes that generous private time, comfortable surrounds and building a foundation for a trusting relationship are important to establishing level of comfort for the young woman new to gynecological care.
These visits are usually consultative in nature, with exams performed only as indicated. The first visit may not necessarily involve an exam; instead it serves as an opportunity for Dr. Price to structure a thorough and fact-based approach to the information adolescent girls need and for the teen patient to ask questions about her concerns in a nonjudgmental, confidential atmosphere. Dr. Price will not betray the confidentiality of these visits but will encourage teens to develop a trusting, communicative relationship with their patents. In a relaxed, comfortable, private setting, she gives teen patients her undivided attention and fact-based counseling to address their concerns and help them make better choices.
A Teenagers’ health care needs are provided at The Women’s Center, often in conjunction with the patient’s pediatrician. This includes focus on breast and bone health, menstrual function and pubertal development, prevention of STDs and teen pregnancy, and maintenance of healthy body weight and nutritional status. A comprehensive history is obtained, with special attention to relevant family history, emotional and psychological issues, and nutritional and social factors. Extensive, honest and open dialogue with our physicians about the risk of premature sexual activity is reviewed and preventive health measures are discussed with the assurance of doctor-patient confidentiality.
The leap into college is an exciting time for young women. They are busy establishing new lives away from home and experiencing the thrill of independence on campus. With this independence, however, comes the responsibility for their health and safety, responsibilities that, until this point, have typically been assumed by the parent or guardian.
The Women’s Center can help prepare college-bound girls for a healthy and safe college experience during the Pre-College exam. Education is provided on important topics such as campus health services, emergency care, insurance plans, preventive care, reproductive health, emotional health, substance use and abuse, relationship violence, campus safety, and travel health. In addition, medical and immunization history are reviewed, examination and screening tests are performed as needed, and future needs addressed.
Knowledge is power. With this education and preparation, young women are better equipped and prepared for a safer and healthier college experience away from home and the caring supervision and support of their parents.
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You are beautiful in EVERY way! ~ Love Thyself