When it comes to the female reproductive system, there are several different types of health care providers who all specialize in certain aspects of care. For example, a reproductive oncologist may focus his or her practice solely on cancers that affect the uterus and cervix while a general oncologist may or may not handle these cases.
Obstetrics and gynecology are also two large sub-specialties that focus on female reproductive health. Being cognizant of the differences and similarities between these specialties will help you better understand and participate in your own healthcare.
You may have noticed on signage, business cards, and advertisements that many doctors label themselves OB/GYN (obstetrician/gynecologist). The college and graduate work required to attain a doctorate in obstetrics and gynecology places equal weight on the two subjects.
It’s up to the practitioner to decide if they want to specialize in one or the other, or if they want to handle both. Rest assured that an OB/GYN is fully trained in both halves of the general specialty, making it perfectly acceptable to see an OB/GYN for any female reproductive health issue.
Doctors who do decide to focus solely on one aspect of patient care will usually designate this by dropping the other half of their title. For example, you may see that an obstetrician has chosen not to practice gynecology if their business card only reads OB after their name. In this case, you would want to see an OB/GYN for gynecological issues not related to pregnancy.
The Role of a Gynecologist
Gynecology focuses on the health of the entire female reproductive tract, including disease and syndrome management. You would see a gynecologist for routine Pap smears, STI screenings, and treatment, an irregular or absent menstrual period, pain in your pelvis or if you suspect a yeast infection.
If you have cysts, fibroids or need a hysterectomy, your surgery will likely be performed by a GYN or OB/GYN who chooses to practice surgery.
The Role of an Obstetrician
Obstetrics concerns itself with your reproductive ability, the health of the fetus, labor, delivery and post-partum care for both you and the infant.
This sub-specialty breaks down even further, with some obstetricians focusing on high-risk pregnancies or pregnancies that involve multiple fetuses.
Schedule Your Appointment with an OB/GYN
At South Lake OB/GYN in Clermont, we have not one, but two board-certified OB/GYNs who are dedicated to providing exceptional services and treatments to their patients.
Contact our office today to schedule your appointment.