The life of a woman is filled with various morphological, physiological, and pathological changes that require the follow-up of a specialist. Gynecology and obstetrics are two medical specialties that focus on the health and well-being of women.
What is gynecology?
Gynecology is the study of the woman’s body, her genitalia, and their diseases. It is concerned with all medical problems that can occur during a woman’s life, including puberty, menstruation, pregnancy prevention, screening, treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, screening for genital and breast cancers, menopause, hormonal treatments, etc.
What is obstetrics?
Obstetrics focuses on pregnancy, childbirth, and its aftermath. It is a surgical medical specialty.
What does the gynecologist do?
The gynecologist provides medical care for the woman throughout her life. In general, the first visit to a gynecologist takes place during puberty and the appearance of the first menstrual period. Thereafter, an annual medical follow-up is recommended.
Because of its « intimate » nature, the idea of a gynecological consultation has a tendency to repel some women. However, every woman has the right to choose her practitioner (man or woman).
Gynecological examination usually takes place in three stages:
– the vaginal touch during which the doctor examines the uterus, ovaries, and perineum;
– Pap smear for cervical cancer or precancerous lesions. The smear is not obligatory at each consultation but it is recommended to do it every year;
– palpation of the breasts and armpits in search of a possible anomaly.
The gynecologist also plays an educational role: he (she) can initiate the woman to self-examination of her breasts and give him useful information on sexually transmitted diseases.
The gynecologist must respect the intimacy of the woman and be a good counselor. On the other hand, the woman must be frank with her gynecologist and not hide anything that could skew the exam. Mutual trust between the gynecologist and the woman is the essential condition for the success of any gynecological examination.
What does the obstetrician do?
The obstetrician intervenes on two levels:
– Performs medical procedures, such as monitoring a pregnancy, cervical monitoring, placement of pregnancy-prohibiting implants, etc.
– Performs surgical procedures such as childbirth, cesarean section, removal of a tumor, etc.
During pregnancy, he (she) makes sure that the woman and her baby are doing well and that nothing prevents carrying the pregnancy to term. This is why the obstetrician can recommend, especially in case of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, the taking of certain nutritional supplements that are necessary for the health of the future mother and her baby.
But as it is about the health of women, it is not uncommon for a gynecologist to be specialized in obstetrics.
At Union MD, our gynecologist ensures your well-being and health. You can trust him and open your heart to the doctor. The doctor will be there to advise, help and serve you.