MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Going to the doctor can be stressful for anyone, let alone adolescents. Young women tend to not start their routine treatment for gynecologic issues until about 18 or 19, and in a lot of cases, that’s just too late.
That’s why two doctors at USA health help lead the pediatric and adolescent gynecology division. It’s the first of its kind in South Alabama aimed to give young women a comfortable space to be more proactive about their health.
“I think it’s really important for girls to have good knowledge about their reproductive health. So that gives them the power to make appropriate decisions in their lifetime,” said Dr. Tracy Roth, Obstetrician-gynecologists, educators of obstetrics and gynecology, at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.
For Dr. Roth and Dr. Nicolette Holliday, seeing a lot of pediatric and adolescent patients are not uncommon. Once the American Board of OBGYN offered certification in our area, they saw it as an opportunity to bring a bigger vision to the Port City.
“We felt like creating a division kind of gave a home for these adolescents and pediatric patients. Rather than having them in a clinic with adults and pregnant women, they could have a place that was sort of designed for them or like a safe place,” Dr. Roth said.
And they did just that, opening a division on the fourth floor at USA Health Children’s & Women’s Hospital at the beginning of February.
“We don’t recommend girls getting a PAP smear until they’re 21, but by no means do we want people to wait until they’re 21 to come in,” Dr. Roth said.
And for a lot of women that tends to be the case, something that Dr. Roth and Dr. Holliday are hoping to change. Seeing patients as early as 3 years old for treatment to build a relationship and establish care.
“A lot of girls do have problems, whether it be menstrual irregularity or pain with their cycles, and sometimes their parents think they have to live with it and don’t realize there’s a lot of things we can do to make their life better,” Dr. Roth said.
Right now, they are starting out with a few patients a month. Once numbers increase, they expect more appointments throughout the week.