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Will they tell my mother?

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brittanybee asks:

I’m going to the gynecologist with my mom in about a week for the first time. I just had sex for the first time about a week ago and I’ve decided to go on birth control. I told my mom that the birth control is to regulate my period because I don’t want her to know that I am not a virgin. i was wondering if i go to the gyn, will they tell my mom that I’m not a virgin if i tell them not to?

Stephanie replies:

This is actually a question that we see very often around here, and it’s understandable that you’d be worried about this if you don’t want your mother right now to know that you’re sexually active.

Doctors actually have an ethical responsibility in keeping what’s called doctor-patient confidentiality. This idea is actually based on the fact that when seeking medical attention or advice, patients trust very personal information to the doctors and it’s very one sided which makes the professional relationship between a doctor and their patient one sided and many times vulnerable. So doctors are to hold all medical and personal information given at any point by the patient and use it only for the benefit of the patient – which helps to ease the concern that information will be given to others.

This idea is very much like that of what is said between lawyer and client is confidential, and just the same if a doctor violates this confidentiality there could be some very serious consequences, including the doctor losing their license to practice. Because you’re the patient, without your express permission, they aren’t allowed to even talk with one of your family members.

You should know, however, that part of the examination is a medical history and you’ll be allowed to ask your mother to be in the room with you when this takes place. The doctor may or may not ask your mother to leave the room when they begin the sexual health history, so this is something you may want to take into consideration when asked if you’d like her in the room with you. When you take someone in with you, sometimes the doctor asks them to leave after the preliminary questions, but others do not.

Also, it’s extremely important that you’re honest and open with your doctor so that they know exactly what they’ll need to pay attention to. It’s find if you want to tell your mother that you’re on the pill to regulate cramps, but you’ll want to make sure your doctor knows you’ve had sex and would like to be on birth control as a protection method – some don’t go well with other medications and others are just a better fit for your needs and wants. Remember that with any doctor the more information you offer means the doctor being more able to meet your needs.

I've attached an article about the first gynecological visit that should answer any questions you may have about the procedure itself.
Your First Gynecologist Visit

written 22 Jun 2008 . updated 22 Jun 2008

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