The Institute for Women's Health

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As your daughter enters her teenage years, it’s important for her to understand how and why her body is changing. It is also time for her to start seeing an OB/GYN. Parents often feel nervous and embarrassed to bring up the subject. Here are some ways to make talking about women’s health with your teenage daughter easier for both of you:

Start Early

Establishing open and honest communication with your daughter early on will make it much easier for you to talk about sex, puberty, birth control, STDs, and other difficult topics. Don’t start talking to your daughter about her period when she begins to menstruate for the first time and don’t wait to talk about sex when her friends are already doing it. Start approaching these topics early so your daughter feels comfortable coming to you for information. Putting off these conversations may lead her to seek information from the wrong sources.

Don’t Have “The Talk”- Have Many Talks

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Trying to teach your daughter everything she needs to know about women’s health in one sitting can be a daunting task. Make it easier for both of you by casually bringing up the subject when the opportunity arises. For example, if a menstrual pad commercial comes up on television, use the opportunity to explain to your daughter what these pads are used for and how she will be using them in the future. Look for “teachable moments” every day to casually bring up the subject.

Spend Quality One-on-One Time With Your Daughter

It’s important for your daughter to have plenty of opportunities in which she can ask questions or talk about the changes that she’s going through. Plan activities where both of you can chat without having siblings or other family members around. Allow your daughter to share what’s going on in her life. Keep an open mind and avoid getting angry at the information that she shares.

Find an OB/GYN Your Daughter Feels Comfortable With

As your daughter enters womanhood, she will need to start seeing an OB/GYN and getting her annual exams. The thought of visiting a gynecologist for the first time can be very scary for her. She’ll probably ask: What will they do to me? Will it hurt? What will they think about my body? Ease your daughter’s fears by letting her participate in the process of selecting an OB/GYN and share some of your own experiences with her. Ask her if she would like for you to stay in the same room during the visit or if she prefers that you wait outside.

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