Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
Gynecology Services for Young Women in East Tennessee
Adolescent gynecologists at Children's Hospital treat problems in the uterus, ovaries, vagina and vulva in girls and young women. These doctors evaluate and counsel women from pre-puberty to late teenage years for development and genital problems. Besides routine gynecologic check-ups, adolescent gynecologists treat menstrual irregularities, pelvic pain, breast lumps, vaginal discharge, congenital or developmental problems of the uterus and vagina and evaluation and treatment of ovarian cysts, vaginal and pelvic infections, heavy bleeding and delayed or early first period.
East Tennessee Children’s Hospital's gynecologist is Christine Linda Gale M.D, the only board certified Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecologist in the region.
What To Expect
Your child may be nervous about her appointment at the gynecologist. Adolescent gynecologists are trained to work with young girls and teens, so they understand how to talk about how the appointment will go and ask sensitive questions in a gentle way. If your child is scared, share your own experience with your daughter to assure her that routine check-ups and speaking up about her issues is all part of taking care of herself.
You may be asked to step out of the exam room to let your daughter and the doctor chat in private. This privacy will give your daughter the chance to ask questions or share concerns that she may not be comfortable talking about in front of you. It is you and your daughter's choice as to whether you are present during the exam.
The exam concentrates on the abdomen, pelvis and outer genital area. Some girls are anxious about their first visits to the gynecologist, but rest assured our doctors are gentle and respectful throughout the entire exam and will do their part to help your child feel comfortable.
The gynecologist will discuss your daughter's treatment with you after the exam. You will be able and are encouraged to ask questions and make the best decision for your daughter.
These doctors can also discuss the use of contraceptives, also called birth control, with your daughter if she is sexually active or plans to become sexually active. The doctor will only suggest safe, effective and appropriate birth control for teens. Birth control can also be used to treat gynecological conditions, like rupturing ovarian cysts.
Irregular periods can happen as your child is adjusting to the changes in her body. Some irregular periods may be the result of something more serious happening. The symptoms of this condition can include unpredictability, painful, too frequent or too heavy periods. The causes of menstrual irregularity include:
- Excessive exercise
- Very low body weight
- Hormone imbalance
Your child's gynecologist may prescribe hormone pills or other medications for this issue. They may also suggest lifestyle changes or refer you to another specialist for more help.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Adolescent gynecologists can help your daughter if she is showing symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection including:
- Genital herpes
It is much easier to prevent STIs than treat them. For this reason, anyone considering having sex should get regular gynecological exams. Your daughter's gynecologist will be able to teach your daughter about safe sex in a safe environment and teach her how to protect herself. Regular check-ups also mean that STIs can be caught early and treated more easily.