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Obstetrics and Gynecology

What are obstetrics and gynecology?

Obstetrics and gynecology are two medical specialties focusing on two aspects of the female reproductive system.

Obstetrics refers to the care of pregnant women, the unborn baby, the labor and delivery process, and the time immediately following childbirth. A key component of obstetrics is quality prenatal care, which monitors the health of the mother and baby and ensures the mother has the information she needs to promote a healthy pregnancy.

Gynecology refers to any ailment impacting the female reproductive organs, including the cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, vagina, and ovaries. In some cases, a gynecologist may also treat related problems that affect the bladder, bowel, or urinary tract system.

Why are obstetrics and gynecology important in healthcare?

Obstetrics and gynecology focus on improved healthcare for women, whether they are or are not pregnant.

With obstetrics, the healthcare professional can care for any complication that may arise during pregnancy, ensuring safety for the mother and baby through all phases of pregnancy and childbirth.

As for gynecology, it focuses on all other aspects of a female’s reproductive health, from puberty through menopause and beyond. Women will see their gynecologist for an annual Pap test, pelvic exam, or for any infections or pain in the genitals, uterus, or breasts. For those struggling with infertility, gynecologists can also help with that.

Since these specialties are closely related, many specialists will be certified in both areas so that they may provide care in both areas, referred to as OB/GYN.