Women’s obstetrics and gynecology: what’s the difference?
Women’s obstetrics and gynecology are different but still connected in addressing the needs of women’s healthcare. Many physicians will pair the two medical specialties to become obstetricians and gynecologists or OB/GYN’s for short, this is because obstetricians and gynecologists will work with the female reproductive system.
An OB/GYN can either be your primary physician or work as a consultant to other physicians. OB/GYN’s will also treat infections, conduct vital cancer screenings, and perform surgery for any urinary tract or pelvic organ problems.
So, what is the difference?
Obstetrics focuses on both the necessary care for overall wellness and any of the required interventions to safeguard the patient before, during, and after giving birth for both the fetus and the mother. It will also cover any care during the postpartum period. A mother will often be overseen and assisted by an obstetrician when giving birth.
Women’s overall health is the focus of gynecology. This includes detailed knowledge of a woman’s needs during every stage of life and the female reproductive system. A doctor who specializes in gynecology can evaluate any concerns and prescribe treatments in order to maintain the health of the uterus, vagina, fallopian tubes, and ovaries, as well as women’s breasts.
A gynecologist can also give advice on sexual matters, such as contraceptives, responsible sexual practices, and protection against sexually transmitted diseases.
Obstetricians and gynecologists will both complete four years of medical school and a four-year residency where they will learn about fertility, pregnancy, adolescent gynecological care, genetics, and adult gynecological care. They will then choose to either specialize in one or the other field or decide to practice both after their training.
Anyone who makes the decision to specialize in an area that is related to gynecology or obstetrics will go on to finish a fellowship. Some examples of sub-specialties that are covered during a fellowship include reproductive endocrinology, maternal-fetal medicine, gynecologic oncology, and infertility.
Why go to each?
Women who are not pregnant should see a gynecologist as a rule of thumb for their health needs. Women who see a gynecologist through their teen years will continue to do so throughout the rest of their lives. It will be appropriate to visit an obstetrician when you become pregnant. If you are looking to become pregnant, it may sometimes be helpful to seek advice from an obstetrician.
Women’s obstetrics and gynecology in Atlanta and Alpharetta GA
Women’s obstetrics and gynecology are available for you, the right choice of who to see will depend on where you are in life. If you are not sure, schedule an appointment to answer any questions that you have.
Contact your top Alpharetta and Atlanta OBGYN for your obstetrics and gynecology care.