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Um, I'm a 15 yr old girl with some questions. My mother and I do not have a strong bond as do many other girls my age. I can not tell her secrets or talk about personal things without wanting to get out of the room quick. My point: I am totally uncomfortable with her. Here is my question: I wanted to talk to my mother about getting my first pelvic exam, but I just can't do it. It is way too uncomfortable, and the last time we seriously talked would be about three years ago when I first got my period. Anyways, I want to know the exact age that most girls get an exam, and if a girl can go into a clinic herself and get one, without a parent. I have easy access to my medical records, and I don't mind filling out forms.I want to save me and my mom both some uncomfortable moments. I prefer not to talk to her about this. Oh, and if I could find something on Susan B. Anthony, that would be helpful. From what I've read, she sounds like a hero and an inspiration to women. Thank you very much, Aeroaud


First, I want to assure you that your situation is not unusual. When I was your age (I'm now 29), I didn't want to talk to my mother about anything and was consistently overcome with some weird feeling everytime my mother asked me about anything--let alone something like my boyfriend, my period or what I did last night. However, I also want to add that in hindsight, I wish I had been braver. I wish I had found a way to talk to my mother and/or some other adult about things that I chose to keep private. I think this would have caused me much less anxiety and uncomfortableness. So, if not your mother, maybe there is an aunt, a friend, me or someone that you can talk to. It's good to have someone who's "been there/done that." Also, I realized that my mother was more open to talk about things than I ever imagined.

There is no "usual age for a pelvic exam." I think Doctors usually wait until girls are "sexually active" and/or until your period begins. Which, unfortunately, meant that I was having them much younger than 15--I think I was 13. So I think that you should go sooner opposed to later. You do not need to have your parent's permission. You can simply go--however, if you go with your parents, you won't have to pay for it. If that's not a problem, you should contact a local clinic and/or your regular Doctor, explaining that you don't want your mother to know. Doctors have to honor your privacy. However, you could also work this exam into your next check-up. When you are alone in the room with the Doctor simply tell him/her that you would like an exam and you don't want your mother to know. They should honor your privacy, hopefully, they will.

I hope this helps--and I hope you have this exam soon. I also hope that if you have more questions, you'll feel free to write back to me. As for Susan B. Anthony--I'm a fan of hers, too. You can learn more at the National Women's History Project at www.nwhp.org. Good luck.



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