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At what age does my daughter need to start seeing an OB/GYN? 

"Ask the Experts" at East Jefferson General Hospital [Web Exclusive Content]

All girls should receive Gardasil (the HPV vaccine) beginning at age 9. The immunization is FDA approved for girls as young as 9 and women as old as 26. Your daughter's pediatrician will usually offer the vaccine.

Once your daughter goes through puberty, if she has any problems with her period (excessively painful or heavy, very irregular, etc.), then I would make an appointment for a consultation with an OB/GYN. In young teens that are not sexually active, it may not be necessary for her to have an exam at that time.

If she's not having any problems and is not sexually active, it's usually recommended that teenagers see an OB/GYN before going off to college. It's a good idea to have a physician reinforce the need to practice safe sex, birth control issues, and other things pertinent to this age group. Women don't need to have a pap smear until they are 21 or within 3 years of first intercourse, unless they are having other problems. It's recommended that sexually active teenagers have testing for STDs, specifically gonorrhea and chlamydia. Your daughter's OB/GYN can determine at what point she needs an exam.

Dr. Kathleen Sullivan Schiavi is an OB/GYN at East Jefferson General Hospital. To make an appointment with Dr. Schiavi or another physician at EJGH, please call HealthFinder at 504-456-5000.

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