Illinois action blog

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sex-Ed in the Doctor’s Office: The Dedicated Reproductive Heath Visit

In addition to the annual check up with her pediatrician and biannual visits to the dentist, one medical group now recommends that a teenage girl have her first visit with an ob-gyn between the ages of 13 and 15.

In the July issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, an American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists committee proposed that teenage girls add a “dedicated reproductive health visit” to their schedule. The visit would function as an introduction for young women to the reproductive health care system and be primarily educational, only including a pelvic exam if necessary. Practitioners would cover topics such as puberty, menstruation, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), pregnancy prevention, sexual orientation and gender identity, acquaintance rape prevention, and timing of routine gynecological visits.

According to Dr. Diane F. Merritt, chairwoman of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' committee on adolescent health care, "Given the high pregnancy and STD rates among adolescent girls in the U.S., compared with other developed countries, we continue to encourage parents to bring their daughters to an ob-gyn for their first visit earlier rather than later."

In essence, the dedicated reproductive health care visits would allow teens to become informed about multiple aspects of adolescent sexuality and sexual development from a medical perspective. It would give teenage girls another outlet for asking and talking about sexuality and give them guidance on what to do and where to go for reproductive healthcare.

What kind of impact do you think this would have on young women?

Technorati tags: Ob-gyn, Reprodcutive Health Care, teens,


Blogger Jonathan said...

I think that this is a great idea. If there's any hope of making sex safer and healthier, and reducing rape and abuse, the first step to changing any of that is awareness. Women and girls should have access to a non-judgmental source of information in a safe environment, and hopefully this could at least play a part in fulfilling that need.

June 28, 2010 at 6:21 PM  

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