Objective: To describe Danish teenagers' experiences and preferences concerning the first pelvic examination.
Methods: Cross-sectional postal questionnaire study. A total of 1500 women, aged 17 years, were selected at random among all Danish women of that age. The response rate was 76%, and 551 had experienced their first examination.
Results: Thirty-two percent gave a negative general evaluation of the examination, and 13% found the examination very painful. The negative evaluation was strongly associated with the experience of pain, embarrassment, perceived impossibility of interrupting the examination, not knowing what the doctor was doing, learning nothing during the examination, indications other than oral contraception, and feeling of insufficient knowledge when arriving for the first examination.
Conclusion: It is recommended that teenagers are given more information and realistic expectations prior to the first pelvic examination.