Gynecologists: When to visit and what to expect

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists recommends a first visit to an OB/GYN between the ages of 13 and 15. This first visit may include discussion of topics such as body image, weight management, immunizations (including the HPV vaccine), contraception, and prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s). This early visit would generally not include a pelvic exam.

Pelvic exams and pap smears are generally recommended beginning at age 21 unless there are symptoms, or if a teen is sexually active before age 21–she should see an OB/GYN sooner to screen for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), HIV, and to discuss birth control options. A recent national survey of teen girls ages 14-19 reported that as many as 1 in 4 teenage girls has already contracted an STD.

While many women use birth control to prevent pregnancy and/or plan their families, some forms are helpful in regulating menstrual cycles, cramps, and in preventing ovarian cancer, pelvic inflammatory diseases, and other gynecological concerns. In choosing the right method, you must select a method that addresses your own particular issues and concerns.

KORF recommends that a young woman find a gynecologist at the onset of puberty with whom she feels comfortable discussing all the questions and concerns regarding the health of her reproductive system.

May 2018 Update
Biology and Treatment of Small Cell Carcinoma of the Ovary, Hypercalcemic Type
by Douglas A. Levine, MD Director, Division of Gynecologic Oncology Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

The main focus of our research is elucidating the biology of gynecologic cancers with the goal of improving prevention and identifying effective treatment options for women with these malignancies. The efforts in our laboratory are towards translating basic research findings into clinical practice. More precisely, our ongoing studies aim to identify molecular features (e.g. gene mutations, aberrant protein expression) of each gynecologic cancer subtype and tailor therapeutic approaches according to genetic landscape of cancer. This precision medicine approach allows us to identify therapeutic options that could ultimately increase the odds of a patient’s successful response.  Read More