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Can I go to the OB/GYN without a parent?

By August 19, 2014 - 10:28pm
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I am 17 years old. Up until a month ago I was a virgin. I've been dating my boyfriend Adam for a little over a year. I haven't told anyone that I'm sexually active now, only Adam & I know. We've only had sex maybe 4 times and each time we used protection. I have an itch, nothing intense, in my vagina. When I checked myself out I noticed inside my vaginal opening there was white stuff. I think I may have a yeast infection, but I don't know what I'm supposed to do. I keep my body clean and I am scared about what has happened. How do I go about seeking medical attention without getting my parents involved? I haven't told anyone about this and I'm really just looking for advice on what to do. Any advice will help, thank you. Also, I will be turning 18 in about 2 months... should I wait until then? Please help.

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Hello Alianna.Regztem,

Thank you for reaching out to us with your health concerns.

I will address the possible yeast infection first. A vaginal yeast infection is a fungal infection. It is caused by the fungus candida, which is normally present in your vagina.

The vagina naturally contains a balanced mix of yeast and bacteria. Lactobacillus bacteria produce acid, which discourages overgrowth of yeast in the vagina. A disruption of the healthy balance can result in an overgrowth of yeast. Too much yeast in your vagina can lead to Inflammation.

Symptoms include:

Itching and irritation in the vagina and at the entrance to the vagina (vulva)
A burning sensation, especially during intercourse or while urinating
Redness and swelling of the vulva
Vaginal pain and soreness
Thick, white, odor-free vaginal discharge with a cottage cheese appearance

A one-time application or one-to-three-day regimen of an antifungal cream, ointment, tablet or suppository effectively clears a yeast infection in most cases. The medication of choice is from a class of drugs called the azoles, such as Monistat # which can be purchased without a prescription.

Now, let's talk about seeing a gynecologist without your parent's consent.

As a 17 year old you are still considered your parent's dependent and are most likely covered by their health insurance policy. Alianna, how do you plan to pay for the office visit with the gynecologist?

I can understand your reservations, but if your parents get the bill you must be honest with them. I do not know the specifics of your relationship with your mother, but I am a strong supporter of honesty with my children.

Secondly, call a gynecologist that you would like to visit and ask what the policy is regarding a minor. With HIPAA, your privacy is protected.


August 20, 2014 - 8:19am
(reply to Maryann Gromisch RN)

Thank you so much for answering! I have a job and about $500 dollars in my bank account, that's how I thought I could pay for it. The relationship between my mother and me is not anywhere near a good one. We argue constantly and she won't talk to me for days. Ever since I entered high school she's been mean and distant with me, its like everything I do is wrong to her. As for my dad, well he's a dad. I don't really think he wants to know anything about my vagina. Would it be possible to go with my grandmother or another adult? Or could I possibly go to my regular doctor and get help? I have never been to a gynecologist before.

August 20, 2014 - 9:40am
Guide (reply to Alianna.Regztem)

Hi Aianna,
I am sorry to hear that you and your mother do not have a good relationship.

Asking your grandmother, aunt or adult cousin to accompany you to the gynecologist appointment is a very good idea. Someone you feel close to can help with any normal anxiety you might have.

Since you are sexually active, I think scheduling an OB/GYN appointment is wise. It is a good opportunity to discuss birth control. It is the time to have a baseline pelvic exam.

I hope everything works out well for you,

August 20, 2014 - 9:52am
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