Arkansas Children’s has the only two fellowship-trained pediatric and adolescent gynecologists in the state: Dr. Laura Hollenbach, medical director for the AC pediatric and adolescent gynecology clinic and associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and Dr. Kathryn Stambough, AC pediatric and adolescent gynecologist and assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UAMS.
The clinics treat newborns with structural, skin or developmental problems in their genitals. Some require surgery to correct the issue. They also see patients experiencing early or late puberty, pelvic pain, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, polycystic ovary syndrome, fertility concerns, contraceptive management and sexually transmitted infections. Gynecologic issues related to medical disorders, including radiotherapy, chemotherapy, diabetes and hematologic disorders, are also treated.
Preparing for an appointment
It is important that a patient feels safe to be healthy. Pediatric gynecologists understand their patients differ from adults because of their hormones, body, puberty needs and how they talk about their problems. Our doctors talk with children at their level.
What to expect
For children, most appointments are like pediatrician appointments, where they discuss the problem and create a care plan. For older patients, a doctor will talk about sexual health, abuse and bullying and social aspects of care, like if they smoke or vape, to help the patient make healthy and safe choices.
Most pediatric gynecology appointments do not involve a pelvic exam (where a doctor looks at the genital area on the outside or inside) and do not require getting undressed. If an exam is needed, a speculum, the medical tool inserted during an adult exam, is rarely used for young patients. Pelvic exams are often confused with pap smears, which are cervical cancer screens not recommended before 21 years old.
The doctor explains to the child what to expect and what to say if they are uncomfortable. Nurses skilled in child life needs are ready to distract a child with bubbles, toys, singing, story time or even iPads to help them feel comfortable.
A parent or caregiver can be at the appointment. Doctors will talk privately with a child if they need it and bring the parent or caregiver back to have a joint conversation.
When is an appointment necessary?
Girls between 13 and 15 should have at least one appointment with a gynecologist or an in-depth talk about puberty and periods with their pediatrician. Establishing care early in life is important to identify any problems as they age.
In-person appointments are available at ACH Gynecology Clinic in Little Rock
, Arkansas Children’s Northwest in Springdale
or by telehealth appointment.