Obstetricians & Gynaecologists – Women Health Specialists

An Introduction to Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Obstetrics & Gynaecology, also known as OB-GYN is a branch of medicine that specializes in the care of women during pregnancy and childbirth. It is also concerned with diagnosing and treating diseases of the female reproductive organs, other health issues in women such as infections, menopause, hormone problems, contraception, and infertility. 

Obstetrics

Obstetrics is a branch of medicine that specializes in the medical and surgical care of women before, during, and after childbirth. It focuses on caring for and maintaining a woman’s overall health during maternity.

This includes:-

  • Pregnancy
  • Labor
  • Childbirth
  • Postpartum period

Gynecology

Gynecology is the branch of medicine that is concerned with diseases of women and their reproductive health. It focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and care of women’s overall health and their reproductive organs.

These include:-

  • Fallopian tubes
  • Ovaries
  • Uterus
  • Vagina

Gynecology also includes screening and treating diseases and issues associated with women’s breasts.

Who is an OB-GYN or Obstetrics and Gynecology Doctor?

An OB-GYN or obstetrics and gynecology doctors specialize in women’s health. The female body experiences a lot of changes and several different biological functions during their course of life. This includes menstruation, childbirth, and menopause. Obstetrics and Gynecology doctors provide care and treatment for all of this and more. They have expertise in female reproductive health, pregnancy, and childbirth. Some of these specialists offer a wide range of general health services to women similar to your regular physician. Others focus on providing medical care for the female reproductive system.

Specialty Areas of Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Usually, OB-GYNs are doctors who provide a wide range of OB-GYN services. However, some choose to specialize in one or more subspecialties of this branch. These may include:-

  • Maternal-fetal Medicine:
    These specialists care for women with high-risk pregnancies and related medical conditions. You may need to see a maternal-fetal medicine specialist if you have gestational diabetes, blood-clotting disorders, premature labor, or chronic or gestational high blood pressure.
  • Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility:
    These specialists address issues concerned with infertility and the glands and hormones of the endocrine system. If you want to have a baby but are having trouble conceiving, you can consult a reproductive endocrinologist. They perform assisted reproduction procedures such as gamete intrafallopian transfer, in vitro fertilization, zygote intrafallopian transfer, and embryo transfer.
  • Gynecologic Oncology:
    Gynecologic oncologists specialize in diagnosing and treating cancers of the female reproductive system. This includes the cancers of the uterus, cervix, ovaries, and vulva.

When Should You Visit an OB-GYN?

The best way to keep in check the overall health and medical issues is preventive care. Women who are healthy and do not experience any reproductive health issues should get a preventive checkup at least once a year. During this visit, obstetrics and gynecology doctors may conduct several evaluations, lab tests, or physical examinations. 

Depending upon your age, your OB-GYN will decide what tests or screenings are required. In addition to your annual visit, you should consult an OB-GYN when you experience any changes in your reproductive cycle. These changes may be routine, planned, or expected like your first menstrual cycle, pregnancy, perimenopause, and menopause.

Or, these can also be abnormal, unexpected, or unusual like unusual cramping, pain during urination, pain during intercourse, and changes in the volume or frequency of menstrual bleeding.

Consider visiting your OB-GYN keeping in mind your age and reproductive goals. For example, if you are sexually active, you may need to visit an OB-GYN for birth control, contraception, sterilization, safe sex tips, vaccination against the human papillomavirus, abnormal vaginal discharge, urinary tract infections, treatment and prevention of pain during sex, or simply to get advice on preventing or treating sexually transmitted infections or HIV.

If you are pregnant, you may visit your OB-GYN for:-

  • Help planning for your pregnancy
  • Genetic testing and screenings
  • Labor and birthing options
  • Advice on breastfeeding
  • Prenatal care
  • Postpartum depression
  • Infertility treatment
  • Advice on diet

What are the Diseases Treated by OB-GYNs?

  • Dysfunctional (Abnormal) Uterine Bleeding
  • Abnormal Labor
  • Acute Fatty Liver of Pregnancy
  • Amenorrhea
  • Anovulation
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Cervical Insufficiency
  • Genitourinary Infections
  • Ectopic Pregnancy
  • Endometrial Carcinoma
  • Female Sexual Dysfunction
  • Hepatitis or HIV in Pregnancy
  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum
  • Hypertension and Pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • Menorrhagia
  • Menstruation Disorders in Adolescents
  • Postpartum Depression
  • Postpartum Hemorrhage
  • Postpartum Infections
  • Pregnancy Trauma
  • Recurrent Early Pregnancy Loss
  • Seizure Disorders in Pregnancy
  • Shock and Pregnancy
  • Uterine Cancer
  • Fibroids
  • Infertility
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

What are the Common Procedures Performed by OB-GYNs?

  • Abdominal Hysterectomy
  • Cesarean Section (C - Section)
  • Copper T Insertion
  • Normal vaginal delivery
  • Laparoscopically Assisted vaginal hysterectomy
  • Medical termination of pregnancy
  • Pap`s Smear
  • Laparoscopic Hysterectomy
  • Vaginoplasty
  • Abortion- Dilation and curettage

Education and Training Requirements to Become a Certified OB-GYN

To become a trained and certified OB-GYN, doctors have to spend five & a half years in graduation as M.B.B.S. from a medical college, followed by a post-graduate course in Obstetrics & Gynaecology. Furthermore, they can pursue several fellowships courses to specialize in fields of Fetal medicine, Female infertility, and Minimal Access Surgery.

Dr. Divaanshu Gupta

Dr. Divaanshu Gupta is a cardiac anaesthesiologist in Manipal Hospital, Jaipur. He has done his M.B.B.S. as well as M.D. Anaesthesia from S.M.S. Medical College. He has a vast experience of working in various critical care units of government as well as corporate hospitals.

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