When should pediatric gynecology patients transition to adult OB/GYN care?

The best time for a patient to transition from pediatric gynecology to adult OB/GYN care may depend on their individual needs and circumstances.

The transition from pediatric gynecology care to an adult OB/GYN provider comes with several considerations.

“The best time for a patient to transition from pediatric to adult care can depend on their individual needs and circumstances,” said Rosemary C. Sousa, M.D., OB/GYN with Norton Women’s Care.

What is the best age to transition from pediatric to adult gynecology care?

Norton Children’s Gynecology, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, sees patients up to age 21; Norton Women’s Care sees patients as young as 16. Patients with Norton Children’s Gynecology should remain with their pediatric provider for as long as possible, until the transitional age of 21.

Office locations should remain a consideration for patients, as there are fewer pediatric locations. If a Norton Women’s Care OB/GYN office is more conveniently located, then the patient can choose it for easier access to care.

How to refer a patient

To refer a patient to Norton Children’s Gynecology, visit Norton EpicLink and open an order for Pediatric Gynecology.

To refer a patient to Norton Women’s Care, visit Norton EpicLink and open an order for Gynecology or Obstetrics/Gynecology.

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Young adults with gynecologic anomalies, disorders of sexual development (DSD) and other ovarian conditions can benefit from communication and long-term planning about their transition of care, much as children with other complex health care needs.

What conditions should expedite a patient’s move to adult OB/GYN care?

If a pediatric patient becomes pregnant, they should be referred immediately to an OB/GYN with Norton Women’s Care, regardless of age. Birth control is another consideration to move a pediatric patient to an OB/GYN.

How to help your patient find a new OB/GYN

It can be difficult for a patient to leave a relationship built over time with any provider to find an adult OB/GYN. How do you even begin to pick a new provider? Pediatric providers can help young adult patients by having them make a checklist of their health needs and preferences. They may want to consider the following:

  • What are my current health goals?
  • Does my pediatric gynecologist recommend any OB/GYNs?
  • Does the OB/GYN’s office need to be close to home, work or school?
  • Do I have any conditions that will need ongoing, specialized care? Does this physician specialize in that condition?
  • Is this physician in my health plan’s network?

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