At the Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology Clinic at Cincinnati Children's, services are available to patients with gynecologic needs from birth through adolescence/young adulthood.
Adolescent health care is sometimes different from pediatric health care. This information introduces you to our services and the way we provide care for our adolescent and teen patients as supported by national guidelines. We want you and your adolescent to feel prepared and comfortable in the Gynecology Clinic.
The health care team in Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology consists of doctors and nurse practitioners who work closely together, so the provider that your child sees may vary at times. As a teaching hospital, medical students, resident physicians, and clinical fellows may be involved in your child's care with full supervision by the attending physician.
In the first visit to our practice, patients are seen by one of our physicians or nurse practitioners to review the medical, surgical, family, and social history. Because we take extra time to learn about each patient’s specific needs, your visit may take longer than expected. Planning for a slightly longer visit will allow for a more relaxed interaction with the team.
Cincinnati Children's is committed to family-centered health care. Each patient and family is encouraged to ask questions and help make decisions about the plan of care. We believe that a critical factor in a child's life is an involved and caring adult. The staff in our Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology department always encourage communication between adolescents, their families and other important adults in their lives. We desire to respect your family values while also offering important adolescent reproductive health care.
While parents/guardians are welcome at every appointment, adolescents may come to appointments alone after their first visit. During each visit (starting at the age of 12 years), the health care provider may spend time talking with the adolescent and the parent/guardian together and with the adolescent alone. Our confidential time spent talking with your adolescent about "sensitive" topics, ensures that your adolescent is safe and healthy. If safety concerns arise during this discussion, these issues will be shared with the parent/guardian. Research shows that this approach helps to build trust between adolescents and their health care providers, allowing adolescents to answer questions openly and honestly.
In line with national guidelines, confidential care may also include screening for sexually transmitted infection (STI), pregnancy testing, and treatments and medications, such as contraception. Urine samples are collected for all patients (12 and up) for indicated screening. We recommend universal, age-based STI screening because these infections are most common among individuals aged 15-24 years, as supported by national guidelines (CDC, USPSTF). Notes and lab results related to confidential care will be reviewed directly with the patient.
Cincinnati Children's offers MyChart, which gives personalized and secure online access to the electronic medical record, which allows access to lab and imaging results and visit notes and summaries. To maintain the confidentiality of our adolescent confidential discussions, visit notes are not visible in MyChart after your child turns 12 years old. As with all health information, when youth turn 18 years old (age of legal adulthood), they may provide consent to share their medical information with you. We respect that many of our young adult patients choose to continue to involve their families in health care decisions, however, we must have this formal and documented permission before we can share their health information with you.
Just as we provide patient-centered care throughout childhood and adolescence, when it is time to transition to an adult gynecologist, our team offers assistance with that process as well. We help to prepare our patients for the change from a “pediatric model of care” to an adult model (where youth take full responsibility for decision-making). We also help to identify adult health care providers and communicate with them as needed about the unique needs of our patients.