Parents often try to mentally prepare themselves for important steps in their children’s lives, but sometimes, medical visits, such as the first Pap smear, get overlooked. Fortunately, those who do recognize the need for a little help and preparation before this milestone can find it and can help their daughters—and themselves—feel more ready for the experience.
Dr. Emil Tajzoy and Dr. Ted Fogwell are licensed OB/GYNs, and with their kind and caring staff, they are ready to help you and your child in any way to make this experience feel easier, safer, and generally better.
The discussion about her first Pap smear
The best thing you can do to help your daughter prepare for this medical procedure is to talk to her about it. Having an honest conversation with her parent will allow her to feel more knowledgeable when she goes into the procedure. Make sure you let her know that the exam may feel uncomfortable, but should never be painful, as explained by Penn Medicine. In addition, she should know that the test will be over quickly and isn’t a prolonged procedure.
Also, your daughter should understand why she is getting the procedure. Tell her she is doing it as a precautionary measure to check for cervical cancer. She should know too that the time she spends with her doctor should be hers to ask questions.
The procedure should also be comfortable for her, meaning she should be able to have you in the room or not depending on which she prefers. It is best to consider her consent in this matter, as you are reminding her that only she can make decisions about her body.
Answer her questions honestly
If your daughter has questions, she should feel comfortable asking them of you. If you have had a Pap smear before, it is a good idea to tell her what it is like, what your experience has been like, and even what it feels like. If you haven’t, you can make sure to read up a little about the procedure and to ask a family friend whom your daughter can trust to talk with you and her about it.
Your daughter may want to know more about preventive gynecological care, sex, and other topics when a Pap smear comes up. It is important not to shut down her questions and to be honest with her. If there are questions you can’t answer, it’s a good idea to encourage her to address them to Dr. Tajzoy or to Dr. Fogwell as part of her visit.
Prepare her for her doctor’s questions
Dr. Tajzoy or Dr. Fogwell will need to ask certain questions, especially if it is her first gynecological visit. These may include questions like
- When was your last period?
- Do you experience any problems with your periods?
- Do you have any discharge, itchiness, or soreness in your vaginal area?
- Are you sexually active?
Remind her these questions have to be asked and that the doctor will be confidential with her answers. You can offer to be in the room with her, but if she would prefer to be alone, it is best to allow her to do this, as it is important that she is honest with her doctor. After all, women and girls need to be able to trust their doctors, especially in this specialty, and to be comfortable with them.
Is your daughter ready for her first Pap smear?
The time of a first Pap smear can alternate from teenage years to early adulthood, but by the age of 15 or so, girls should have at least had their first gynecological appointment. You can contact our office at 214-216-6713, or request an appointment through our online booking system now.