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21 Reasons to See a Gynecologist Before You Turn 21

21 Reasons to See a Gynecologist Before You Turn 21 (Text Version)

Although most teens don’t need to have a Pap test until they are 21 years old, there are at least 21 reasons to see a gynecologist before then.


  1. Learn about healthy lifestyles and how to feel good about yourself.
  2. Discuss good habits for healthy bones.
  3. Learn if you have a urinary tract infection (UTI) and the treatment options.
  4. Get treatment for vaginal itching, discharge, or other symptoms.


  1. Learn if your periods are normal.
  2. Get relief if your periods are painful.
  3. Find out why your periods are too heavy.
  4. Discuss the timing of your periods and why bleeding may occur in between.
  5. Learn ways to deal with premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Sexuality & Relationships

  1. Learn how to have healthy romantic relationships.
  2. Learn what it means to be in a consensual relationship.
  3. Ask questions about what it means to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ).
  4. Learn about safe sex.
  5. Talk about how your reproductive system works.


  1. Discuss birth control options.
  2. Discuss the ideal time to start a family.
  3. Get tested for pregnancy.
  4. Weigh your options if you get pregnant.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

  1. Learn how to lower your risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
  2. Get tested for STIs and HIV if you are sexually active.
  3. Get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.

PFSI019: This information is designed as an educational aid to patients and sets forth current information and opinions related to women’s health. It is not intended as a statement of the standard of care, nor does it comprise all proper treatments or methods of care. It is not a substitute for a treating clinician’s independent professional judgment. For ACOG’s complete disclaimer, visit

Copyright May 2020 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, posted on the internet, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher.

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