Ask Sofia: When Should I Bring My Daughter in for the First Time?
Girls now start puberty as early as age 8 and often begin menstruating around age 12, so this is a great, thoughtful question. Dr. Donna Block says that unless your daughter is having menstrual or gynecological issues or is sexually active, most girls don’t have their first pelvic exam until later in high school or before they leave for college. If your daughter has questions that she feels uncomfortable sharing with you, however, you can suggest she talk with her regular doctor who can also discuss what will happen during her first pelvic exam to better prepare her for the experience. The more invested she is in her health and wellness, the better.
To make your daughter feel more comfortable ahead of time, Dr. Block suggests trying to answer all her questions honestly and openly and in an age-appropriate manner. Using real names for body parts, talking about menstruation early, and offering practical information, books and resources can all help. Many girls just want to know that what they’re experiencing is normal, and offering that reassurance can also ease their concerns and fears.