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Female Adolescent Care

According to Medicaid.gov less than 45.3% of 12-21 year old’s received adolescent well child care in 2020.  We want to help that number go up!  Girls often feel more comfortable being seen and treated by a female provider. At Pediatric Care, we have a female NP who can help your tween/teenage daughter transition from pediatrics to adult health.

Adolescence can be a challenging time for parents and children alike. This is one of the most dramatic and rapid periods of growth for a child.  Changes in personality plus emotional and physical development can be hard to keep up with.  The providers at Pediatric Care want to help you and your child grow and develop as healthy and happy as possible.

Adolescent Well Exams

We start out by measuring vital signs like height, weight, BMI, blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen saturation.

The physical examination, which is the hands-on part, is performed by our female NP, which includes checking the head, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, throat, neck, heart, lungs, stomach and hips.  Private parts are not routinely checked

Immunizations may or may not need to be given at adolescent well child checks.  If you are 11-12 years old then a Tdap and a meningitis vaccine are recommended plus HVP.  If you are up to date on immunizations then no shots will be given.  Covid immunizations (available all year long) and flu shots (seasonally) can be given.

Screening tests can include vision and hearing, plus depression, scoliosis and a possible blood draw for anemia.

Counseling services include discussions about a variety of health issues including skin care and acne, mental health, school performance, sexuality, nutrition and self -image, physical activity and hormonal development/puberty. 

Many of these services are recommended for all adolescents, but some services do depend on a teen’s age, sex, or personal health history.

Menstruation Health

Menarche is the term used to indicate the onset of a girl’s very first menstrual period.  The average age of onset of menarche is 12 years but can range from 8 to 16 years of age.  At Pediatric Care, our female NP can help answer questions and guide parents and teens into this new phase of life, hopefully in a nonthreatening, fun way. It helps to know what “normal” is when it comes to your period. We can also answer questions about other reproductive health concerns like birth control options and sexual transmitted infections.

PMS also known as Premenstrual Syndrome – occurs only during the second half (luteal phase) of the menstrual cycle, most commonly 5-7 before the menstrual period.  Physical as well as behavioral symptoms can occur, such as 

  • Sadness and variable moods swings
  • Tension, anxiety, or “edginess”
  • Frequent tearfulness
  • Irritability, anger, and conflict with family, coworkers, or friends
  • Decreased interest in activities that you usually enjoy 
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Changes in appetite, like binge eating/craving certain foods
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches or aching joints
  • Breast tenderness or swelling occurs with PMS. 

Please talk with us about your PMS concerns, since it takes 2-3 menstrual cycles to diagnose.

Adolescent Female Sports Physical

The goals of our sports physicals at Pediatric Care are to educate, promote and identify potential risk factors. The providers want to 

  • Identify medical problems with risks of life-threatening complications like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
  • Identify conditions, like hypertension, that require a treatment plan before participation.
  • Identify and rehabilitate old musculoskeletal injuries
  • Identify and treat conditions that interfere with physical activity like exercise-induced bronchospasm/asthma
  • Maximize safe participation by female adolescents and remove unnecessary restrictions on sports participation in the past.

 

We also want to educate about estrogen effects on the female athlete.  Estrogen relaxes ligaments, which increases the risk of injury for teen female athletes. Knee injuries are common injuries for young women, as are ankle sprains and shoulder pains. There are several ways teen athletes can reduce their risk of injury such as strengthening leg muscles, landing properly after jumping, strengthening core muscles, and warming up before beginning any activity.