Understanding Medicine – Obstetrics and Gynecology

Two doctors withObstetrics and gynecology are two medical/surgical specialities focusing on the female reproductive organs. Obstetrics deals with the female reproductive system in its pregnant state whereas gynecology deals with it in its non-pregnant state. Because the two are so closely linked, they are often grouped together. Obstetrics and gynecology is usually offered as combined training and therefore the obstetrics and gynecology professional is adept at treating females during all stages of their lives.

Subspecialties of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Some of the main subspecialties of obstetrics and gynecology are:

Maternal-fetal medicine

Within this subspecialty of obstetrics and gynecology, the professionals (sometimes known as perinatologists) will monitor and treat women who are seen to have high-risk pregnancies. Professionals will employ treatments such as ultrasound, amniocentisis (where a small sample of the amniotic fluid is extracted for examination), fetal surgery and treatment. Professionals within this sub-specialty will need to undergo extra training in situations such as pre-eclampsia, pre-term labor and women with twin or triplet pregnancies.

Reproductive endocrinology and infertility

Another sub-specialty of obstetrics and gynecology is the area which focuses on training physicians in treating hormonal issues that can affect reproduction and general fertility (although some issues may relate to reproductive hormones but not have anything to do with fertility). Infertility is a massive concern to the patients it affects and as such, professionals within this sub-specialty are trained to treat their patients with the utmost care and delicacy.

Gynecological oncology

There are various cancers that might affect a female’s reproductive organs including ovarian, uterine, cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers. Gynecologic oncologists are trained in caring for females suffering these cancers, determining and delivering a care plan and supporting them during their recovery.

Urogynecology and pelvic reconstruction

When a woman suffers urinary incontinence or prolapse of the pelvic organs, this is the filed under which they will be treated. They are remarkably common conditions but many women fail to seek treatment because they are embarrassed by their condition. But these issues can affect the quality of life significantly so women are encouraged to seek treatment whenever possible.

These are the main sub-specialties of obstetrics and gynecology but there are several others that are less formally recognized.

Professionals who work in obstetrics and gynecology may also be heavily involved in the delivery of babies which is the part of the job that a lot of obstetrics and gynecology professionals report as their favorite! It is quite an honor being involved in the labor process and being amongst the first people to greet the new person!

Finding an Obstetrics and Gynecology Physician for Your Pregnancy

Choosing the right obstetrics and gynecology physician for you is a precious decision to make if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby. If you have the choice, there are certain things you might wish to bear in mind including the type of birthing experience you want (i.e. a water birth, home birth etc.), any specific concerns you might have about your pregnancy and who from your obstetrics and gynecology team you wish to be present at your labor.