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Offering Gynecologic Care To Girls And Teens

Armen Hareyan's picture

Specialists in the University of Iowa Women's Health Center are now providing care to young girls and teenagers in their new Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology Clinic on the third level of the Pomerantz Family Pavilion of UI Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.

Pediatric and adolescent gynecology is a subspecialty field that includes both common and uncommon gynecologic concerns for girls and young women from birth to age 22. Care providers are trained to recognize what is normal and abnormal for infants, children and teenagers, how to examine girls and young women in an age-appropriate, sensitive and reassuring way, and how to communicate with children and their parents.

"Our Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology Clinic provides a welcoming place for patients seeking a focus on gynecological issues in their age group," said Ginny Ryan, M.D., the clinic's director. "It also provides a subspecialty clinic to which community and hospital-based primary care providers can refer complicated problems."

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The clinic staff also schedule wellness visits with the gynecologist to provide the opportunity for an adolescent to discuss the unique and complex medical, social, emotional, sexual, educational and nutritional issues they are faced with in the teen years. Annual Pap smears are also offered.

The new clinic also represents the comprehensive scope of services associated with UI Children's Hospital. With the assistance of other specialists, the Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology Clinic provides a multidisciplinary approach to accurate diagnosis and care for the often complex congenital abnormalities of the uterus, cervix and vagina, many of which can require surgical repair and long-term follow-up care.

Care providers in the clinic also treat patients with problems such as delayed puberty, excess body hair growth, menstrual abnormalities and breast masses.

Elizabeth Graf and Lois Holz also serve patients in the clinic. They are joined by fellows training in reproductive endocrinology and infertility as well as residents in the obstetrics and gynecology program.