Many people think OB/GYN and gynecology are the same thing. This is not true! An OB/GYN encompasses two specialties – obstetrics and gynecology – while gynecologists specialize in gynecology only. While a physician can have both medical specializations, there are differences between the two.
A woman’s needs change throughout life, and it’s important to know who you need to see for specific conditions and issues.
An obstetrician specializes in obstetrics, which deals with all aspects of pregnancy, from prenatal care to post-natal care. An obstetrician delivers babies, whereas a gynecologist does not. An obstetrician can also provide therapies to help you get pregnant, such as fertility treatments. If you deliver a premature baby, an obstetrician can also provide guidance in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). An obstetrician will ensure you have a healthy pregnancy and that you deliver a healthy baby.
Obstetricians are also trained to handle pregnancy complications, such as:
- Ectopic pregnancy, in which the fetus grows outside of the uterus
- Signs of fetal distress, in which the fetus is not doing well for various reasons
- Placenta issues
- Delivery through Cesarean section
An obstetrician can also help you after you have delivered your baby and are dealing with issues such as postpartum depression.
A gynecologist specializes in caring for the reproductive health of a woman from the time she gets her first period all the way to post-menopause.
Any conditions that affect the reproductive system, such as those with the cervix, uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, or vagina, are diagnosed and treated by a gynecologist. Gynecologists also perform recommended screenings such as breast exams, pap smears, and pelvic exams. They also perform hysterectomies and tubal ligations. A gynecologist can also provide human papillomavirus (HPV) shots to protect against cancer-causing HPV.
Gynecologists can also provide advice on sexual matters, such as responsible sexual practices, contraceptives, and protection against sexually transmitted diseases. All in all, if it’s a non-pregnancy issue that is related to female reproductive health, a gynecologist can take care of it.
A gynecologist may diagnose and treat issues, such as:
- Irregular menstruation
- Vaginal infections
- Conditions that cause pain during sex
- Cancers of the reproductive system
- Prolapse of pelvic organs
- Cervical and vaginal polyps
- Ovarian cysts
- Uterine fibroids
Many physicians specialize in both obstetrics and gynecology to provide comprehensive care to patients. This way, they can address the full spectrum of their patients’ healthcare needs. These physicians are called OB/GYNs.
OB/GYN and Gynecology Services in Wooster Community Hospital
At Wooster Community Hospital, our gynecologists provide full-service medical care for your sexual and reproductive health care needs. We have two women’s centers: The Women’s Specialty Center and Bloomington Women’s Care.
Our obstetricians also offer comprehensive pregnancy care services at our Woman’s Pavilion. Regardless of what kind of care you need, we have compassionate obstetricians and gynecologists ready to provide you with the highest quality personalized care.
For more information about our obstetrics and gynecology services or to schedule an appointment, call Wooster Community Hospital at (330) 263-8144.