A majority of women’s doctors are OB/GYNs, but that actually means they specialize in two different fields: obstetrics and gynecology.
So, what’s the difference?
One women’s health specialist, two specialties
A gynecologist focuses a little more broadly on all health issues that are specific to women. While this list is not exhaustive, here are some common things treated by a gynecologist:
- irregular or painful menstrual cycles
- uterine prolapse
- cysts and fibroids
- ovarian, uterine or cervical cancer
In contrast, an obstetrician focuses more narrowly on pregnancy, care of unborn babies and delivery. They also deal with fertility issues and problems like ectopic pregnancies or miscarriages. Obstetricians are trained more specifically to handle all the possible complications associated with pregnancy and labor/delivery. If an emergency situation arises, they can perform a c-section.
As we said before, many doctors choose to study both areas so that they’re able to handle the entire spectrum of women’s health. Some, though, choose to be more narrowly focused on certain women’s issues.
When choosing a gynecologist, obstetrician or OB/GYN, make sure that doctor is best suited to fit your particular needs and stage of life.
Read our post on what to consider when choosing a new OB/GYN.