What Is The Difference Between An Ob/gyn And A Gynecologist?

What Is The Difference Between An Ob/gyn And A Gynecologist?

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What Is The Difference Between An Ob/gyn And A Gynecologist?
What Is The Difference Between An Ob/gyn And A Gynecologist?

Who are Obstetrician and gynecologists?

An obstetrician is a physician whose specialty is in the care of women and their children during a pregnancy. An obstetrician is on-hand during childbirth, postnatal care, and during puerperium, which is the period of around six weeks after giving birth when a woman’s reproductive organs return to their pre-pregnancy condition.

An obstetrician not only delivers babies but can also provide therapies to aid in getting pregnant. An obstetrician is also highly trained in cases of premature birth and can provide assistance and guidance in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). In addition to premature births, an obstetrician is also trained to deal with a variety of possible complications during and after childbirth, including:

  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Fetal distress – multiple causes of unhealthy fetus
  • Cesarean section delivery
  • Placenta complications
  • Preeclampsia

An obstetrician is also trained in helping a new mother cope with the emotional aspects of childbirth, including postpartum depression.

A gynecologist is a doctor who has specialized training that focuses on the health of the female reproductive system. A gynecologist is trained to diagnose and treat disorders and diseases specific to the reproductive system that may be revealed through abnormal PAP results, or from a colonoscopy. Any part of the female body that plays a role in reproduction falls under the care of a gynecologist, including any issues regarding the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, or the breasts.

An OB/GYN on the other hand, while considered a single specialty, is a combination of the two specialties, where a physician has medical specializations in both obstetrics and gynecology. While gynecologists specialize only on the health of a woman’s reproductive system, they are not involved in a pregnancy or the health of the developing baby. 

When should you schedule an appointment with one or the other?

An obstetrician is a doctor that a woman will see when she becomes pregnant. This is because an obstetrician deals with every aspect of pregnancy and childbirth. Discovery of the pregnancy may be through a home-pregnancy test, or after a pregnancy test taken at a doctor’s office or clinic. Following which a primary care doctor will likely make a referral to an obstetrician.

From the time a woman receives her first period, and all the way through post-menopause, her reproductive health is cared for by a gynecologist. As well, a gynecologist also performs recommended screenings to rule out any conditions that may affect a woman’s reproductive health, such as pelvic exams, PAP smears and breast exams. A gynecologist can also perform hysterectomies and tubal ligations, as well as administer shots to protect against the cancer-causing Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). 

What Conditions Do Gynecologists Treat?

In addition to the above mentioned roles of a gynecologist, they are trained to diagnose and treat a wide variety of complications involving the female reproductive system. Some of which include:

  • Irregular menstruation
  • Vaginal infections
  • Endometriosis
  • Vaginal or cervical polyps
  • Ovarian cyst
  • Uterine fibroids

When Should You See a Gynecologist?

There are overlaps in some services offered by a family physician and a gynecologist, such as birth control, thyroid disorder diagnosis and treatment, as well as mood disorders. Between the ages of 11 and 18, a young woman may be referred to a gynecologist in cases of delayed puberty, painful menstrual cycles, or the inability to wear a tampon. HPV shots are commonly given at 18 years of age, and beginning at 21 a woman will see a gynecologist to begin receiving PAP smears.

Dr. Beyerlein Women’s Health has been committed to improving women’s health and wellness for over 30 years. Our clinic is highly trained in obstetrics, gynecology and gynecological surgery. Dr. Richard Beyerlein is the recipient of multiple awards for his outstanding performance, and for his contribution to the fields of obstetrics and gynecology. Dr. Richard Beyerlein cares deeply about Women’s Health and takes great pride in providing the most advanced and professional healthcare. Call or text us to arrange your consultation, or visit our website for more information, or for directions. We serve patients from Eugene OR, Springfield OR, Coburg OR, Creswell OR, Lowell OR, Cottage Grove OR, and Junction City OR.