Every woman deserves the best health care and pregnancy treatment.
When it comes to pregnancy and reproductive health concerns, many women visit an OB-GYN without a doubt. However, did you know that there are many differences between an OB-GYN, an obstetrician, and a gynecologist?
Although an OB-GYN can specialize in both obstetrics and gynecology, women still have to be knowledgeable about their differences, so they know who among these health specialists they need to see for specific conditions and concerns.
Read on to find out more about obstetricians and gynecologists and when would you need to visit them.
Obstetrician vs. Gynecologist
While the two specialists are responsible for any issues concerning the female reproductive system, the key difference is that an obstetrician mostly works on pregnancy concerns, especially those with high-risk pregnancies, while a gynecologist can be responsible for other health issues of both men and women.
An OB-GYN, on the other note, specializes in both.
Here is an overview of their roles:
Obstetricians are obstetrics experts who deal with all concerns related to women’s pregnancy, from prenatal to postnatal care. They will help you ensure a healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery of your baby.
Unlike a gynecologist, an obstetrician delivers babies and provides fertility therapies to women who want to get pregnant. They also help mothers dealing with postpartum depression.
As a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, an obstetrician can treat many potential complications or issues during pregnancy and birthing process, including:
- Ectopic pregnancy (the type of pregnancy in which the fetus grows outside of the uterus)
- Fetal distress (the fetus is not doing well before and during childbirth)
- Placenta issues (including placental abruption, placenta previa, and placenta accreta)
- High blood pressure (pre-eclampsia)
- Cesarean Section
Aside from ultrasounds, routine appointments, and labor and delivery services, obstetricians also perform the following procedures and surgeries related to a female’s reproductive system:
- Cervical cerclage
- Dilation and curettage
- Cesarean, vaginal, and forceps, and vacuum deliveries
A gynecologist is a medical expert that focuses on the overall reproductive health of a woman, from the day she gets her first period until she reaches the postmenopause stage.
Women are highly-advised to begin visiting a gynecologist at the onset of puberty or from the moment they become sexually active.
Gynecologists also perform standards examinations related to women’s health, such as breast and pelvic exams, and pap smears.
The following are the surgeries and procedures a gynecologist can provide:
- Hysterectomy: Removal of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and other reproductive organs
- Oophorectomy: Removal of one or both ovaries
- Tubal Ligation: Surgery to prevent pregnancy
- Cervical Biopsy: Removal of small amounts of tissues from the cervix after a pelvic exam or pap smear
- Dilation and Curettage (D&C): Removal of abnormal tissues in the uterus
- Labiaplasty: Reshaping of external genitalia
The following types of gynecologists specialize in various areas of gynecology:
- Obstetrician-Gynecologists (OB-GYNS). They are trained in both specializations to give proper preventative reproductive healthcare, prenatal and postnatal care, and pregnancy management.
- Urogynecologists. Also known as Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Specialists, urogynecologists can evaluate and treat any pelvic floor disorders.
- Gynecologic Oncologists. They are gynecologists that treat cancers in the reproductive organs. They conduct procedures such as urological surgery, radical pelvic surgery, and gastrointestinal surgery.
- Reproductive Endocrinologist. They treat both female and male reproductive disorders such as hormonal disorders, infertility, menopause, miscarriage, and menstrual problems.
Obstetrics and Gynecology Specialists: Who Should You Visit?
While it may be confusing for some, here are the signs to know who should you visit an obstetrician and a gynecologist:
Signs That You Need to See an Obstetrician
- You’re pregnant
- You have postpartum issues
- You have high-risk pregnancy due to health issues such as epilepsy, diabetes, asthma, and high blood pressure
- You have pre-pregnancy concerns
Visit an obstetrician too if you experience any of these signs of pregnancy:
- A missed period
- Fatigue, nausea, and vomiting
- Distaste in certain types of food and heightened sensitivity to smells
- Swelling and tenderness of breasts
- Urination and breathing problems
- Other unusual physical changes, including the color of the vagina
Signs That You Need to See a Gynecologist
- You have an irregular menstruation
- You have vaginal infections, such as yeast infection
- You feel pain during an intercourse
- You experience prolapse of pelvic organs (most common to women in their menopausal stage)
- You have menopausal issues
- You experience any symptoms of any gynecologic cancer, or any severe conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, and fibroids
- You think you’re infertile
Schedule Your Appointment Now!
If you have any of the above signs, it is best to consult a medical expert now to give you the proper care and treatment that you need.
Routine visits to OB GYNS will ensure a healthier pregnancy and improved overall reproductive health.
North Valley Women’s Care is here to give you the highest quality obstetrics and gynecology services. Contact us today to find out about our services and book an appointment!
Do you have any health concerns on your reproductive system that you want to address? Share it through the comments below!