Caring for your teen
Our experts in adolescent and young adult medicine are here to guide and treat patients through physical, mental and sexual development, as well as all of the emotions and pressures that come with autonomy, relationships and entering society as an adult
Teenagers and adolescent medicine
As children outgrow pediatrics, it’s important to make sure there isn’t a gap in their care. While teens and young adults can continue seeing their general pediatrician until they turn 21, they may feel more comfortable in a medical environment suited to their emerging needs and maturity.
The practice of adolescent and young adult medicine was created to address age-specific health issues, and provide the guidance and reassurance to help adolescents and young adults make the best decisions for their health.
Specialists in adolescent medicine focus on the following, but are not limited to:
- Acne (working with dermatologists who treat adolescents)
- Birth control (access to prescription or non-prescription contraception)
- Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa (working with nutritionists, dieticians, mental health counselors, clinical psychologists and psychiatrists who work with adolescents)
- Delayed or precocious puberty (often working with specialists in pediatric endocrinology, urology and gynecology)
- Menstrual disorders such as amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea and dysfunctional uterine bleeding
- Certain mental illnesses including anxiety disorders, major depression, thoughts of suicide, bipolar disorder and certain types of schizophrenia (working with mental health counselors, clinical psychologists and psychiatrists)
- Substance abuse
- Sexual activity such as sexual intercourse and sexual abuse
- Sexually-transmitted diseases (working with specialists in pediatric endocrinology, obstetrics and gynecology, immunology, infectious diseases, urology and reproductive medicine)
- Unintended pregnancy — many (not all) adolescent pregnancies are medically risky or high-risk cases (working with specialists in obstetrics and gynecology, especially in neonatology and maternal-fetal medicine)
Medical care and treatment
From age-related preventive care to life-changing acute and chronic illnesses and conditions, Optum adolescent and young adult medicine specialists are specially trained to treat teens with ongoing support. We commonly treat the following types of patients:
- Older teens who have physical or developmental challenges. We offer special support in confronting their unique challenges as they begin the transition to adulthood.
- Children who have a chronic disease. Long-lasting diseases like diabetes or immune system disorders are difficult for anyone. We collaborate with existing and additional specialists to bridge the gap from pediatric to adult primary care.
Coping with illness as a young adult is especially challenging. We can help your child with sticking to treatment plans and dealing with the physical, mental and social stresses of chronic illness.