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What is a Gynecologist?


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One of the most searched terms for women on the internet is “OBGYN Near Me”. This is due to the fact that gynecologists are some of the most important people for women’s health and their bodies. 

We will be addressing the ever-expanding question, “What is a Gynecologist?” 

Keep reading to know more about our experts in gynecology! 

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OBGYN stands for obstetrician–gynecologist (ob–gyn)

Your Glendale OBGYN, also known as your gynecologist, is an expert in the female reproductive system including, childbirth, pregnancy, and the many complex biological bodily functions that are specific to women.

The profession of obstetrician-gynecologist falls under the medical practice of obstetrics

Obstetrics refers to the specialized field of medicine concerned with women who are giving birth, preparing to give birth, trying to conceive, and all related surgical matters.

Simply stated, the comprehensive women’s health during her precious maternity falls under the designation of Obstetrics.

The medical branch of Obstetrics includes but is not limited to the following:

  • pregnancy
  • labor
  • childbirth
  • the postpartum period


We are your local, neighborhood women’s medical care center and we want to hear from you. If you have questions about our care and services, or to schedule an appointment call us today!


What Does a Gynecologist Do? 

Now that we understand the field of Obstetrics, we can dive deep into what is a gynecologist.

As we mentioned earlier, a gynecologist is a specialist in the female reproductive system. This includes the cervix, ovaries, uterus, vagina, and vulva. 

If you’re having menstrual problems, menopause, or infertility issues, you need to consult a gynecologist. 

A gynecologist will assess your health issues including the following: 

  • Amenorrhea (absence of menstrual periods) 
  • Dysmenorrhea (pain felt during menstrual cycles) 
  • Menorrhagia (heavy menstrual flows) 
  • Polycystic ovarian cysts (PCOS)
  • Ovarian cysts 
  • Endometriosis 
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) 

It is recommended that young women schedule their first visit with a gynecologist when they reach the age of 12. 

Your Glendale OBGYN, Dr. Melissa Austin, is available to answer personal questions and assist you with navigating the complexities of your female reproductive system. 

Aside from providing you with general information, your gynecologist will be the person that undergoes preventative screenings with you, such as: 

  • Pap smears
  • Cancer screenings
  • Ultrasounds
  • Test for sexually transmitted diseases
  • Other tests related to reproductive problems

Due to the complex nature of the female body, many women see their gynecologists as a necessary specialist in their life. 

An OBGYN can also have the knowledge and education to provide you with general health care as well.

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Are All Gynecologists also Obstetricians? 

In many cases, most gynecologists are also obstetricians. 

While obstetrics focuses on pregnancy, labor, and delivery, gynecologists are in charge of a woman’s general gynecological health outside of pregnancy. 

Combining both specializations, OB/GYNs will be your primary doctor who will take care of your reproductive system — from preventive care, sexual health, to family planning! 

OB/GYNs also have their own subspecialties such as:

  • maternal/fetal medicine
  • reproductive endocrinology
  • infertility
  • urogynecology
  • gynecologic oncology

What You Need to Know About Visiting a Gynecologist: 

  • Primary focus – the health of your reproductive organs
  • First visit – pre-teen, 12-years-old
  • Frequency – annual visits are typical unless your gynecologist recommends being seen more frequently
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) – the certifying body responsible for acknowledging legitimate and certified gynecologists

The next time you search “gynecologist near me” or “OBGYN near me,” remember that this will more than likely be a lifelong partnership. 

Over time, you and your OBGYN will develop a unique bond unlike any other type of doctor-patient bond. With this in mind, choose wisely.

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What To Expect At Your Gynecologist Visit? 

For your first visit with a gynecologist, you will be asked about your medical history. 

Your physical exam will include a pelvic exam and a breast check to see if there’s anything to be concerned about. 

If there are no problems, expect your yearly check-ups to be the same. However, if you do encounter an issue with your menstruations or become pregnant, additional tests may be done. 

You can expect your gynecologist to perform regular checks on your ovaries, vagina, uterus, and bladder. 

As you get older, your gynecologist will educate you about your menopause years, a period that often comes with many changes. But don’t fret, your doctor can help you manage menopause and its related symptoms. 

To stay on top of your reproductive health, it is important to maintain your yearly check-ups to check for any issues, like: 

  • Incontinence
  • Prolapse
  • Vaginal tears
  • Sexually transmitted diseases and infections
  • Potential cancer risks

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How Often Should You Visit Your Gynecologist? 

You should start annual visits to your gynecologist as early as 12 years old. 

Then, once you reach 21, it is generally recommended to include a pelvic exam during your yearly gynecologist visit. 

Also, around 21 years of age, pap smears are typically recommended at annual or biannual intervals but are dependent on age and other risk factors.

However, if you’re experiencing menstrual or reproductive issues, you may have to visit a gynecologist more frequently. 

Should You Visit a Gynecologist Even if You’re Menopausal? 

Older women may think they can pass on their gynecologist once they stop having their periods. 

Truth be told, it’s actually more advisable to go for check-ups once you’ve entered your menopause years!

For older women, incontinence and prolapse are more likely to happen. 

Although these health issues come with aging, your gynecologists will be able to detect these problems early and have treatment plans prepared especially for these conditions. 

In addition, menopausal women should also go through a regular pelvic exam and pap smears to detect any sexually transmitted diseases or signs of cancers. 

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We are your local providers of the highest quality obstetrics and gynecology, and we want to hear from you. If you have questions about our care and services, or to schedule an appointment, call us today!



North Valley Women's Care
6316 West Union Hills Drive, Suite 100
Glendale, AZ 85308
Phone: 623-233-1300
Fax: 623-233-1313

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