What is the Difference Between an Obstetrician and a Gynaecologist

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Dr. Manu Lakshmi

18 Nov 2021

Different types of health care providers play a vital role in the overall healthcare of women but the two main medical professionals to seek throughout life are gynecologists and obstetricians. Many people think that both are the same, which is not true. Both the practitioners promote the all-inclusive wellness of women through two separate fields that provide comprehensive treatments and preventative care for women’s reproductive health issues. Roles played by gynecologists and obstetricians within the medical community are very different, though they share the same ultimate mission. Women who have never met a specialist for specific issues of reproductive medicine may find it confusing to recognize the difference in choosing the right professional between the two. So, for a woman to know if she has to see a Chennai gynecologist or an obstetrician, here is a description of the difference between the two.

An obstetrician specializes in prenatal to postnatal care

Obstetricians deal with all aspects of pregnancy starting from therapies to get pregnant, up to mother and child care after delivery. They specialize in the care of the woman, before, during after pregnancy. Thus, an obstetrician’s role is to guide a mother safely through the entire experience from conception to delivery to the postpartum period. Obstetricians play an essential part in their patients’ labor and delivery that often involve professional demands of erratic working hours. Some obstetricians may also offer services that include fertility treatment, foetal diagnostic procedures, and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Following are the responsibilities of an obstetrician as required at different stages of pregnancy:

  • Pre pregnancy care – Obstetric care before trying to conceive may include check-up that screens for various illness and conditions, vaccinations as well as recommendations on lifestyle changes and habits for healthy pregnancy in women specially with underlying issues such as obesity, diabetes etc.
  • Care during pregnancy – Obstetricians work with pregnant women to ensure a healthy pregnancy, more specifically if the woman is above 35 years. To advise certain exercises, medications and dietary choices to promote the development of a healthy child are part of an obstetrician’s role. Routine tests such as ultrasounds, measurements, blood/urine tests and other investigations are performed to monitor the health of the mother and baby. Common issues of pregnancy like morning sickness, leg pain, back pain and heartburn are also addressed by obstetricians. They also coordinate with a team of professionals that include nurses, neonatologists and scan specialists to provide the right information to the parents.
  • Support during and after labour – An obstetrician monitors the progress when the pregnant woman goes in to labour. The obstetrician is trained to handle potential complications or situations that may happen during pregnancy or birthing process. The team of medical professionals providing support during labour are directed by the obstetrician. Once the baby is delivered, the obstetrician and the support team will monitor the mother for recovery. After delivery services also include guidance on ensuring good lactation and nursing tips to promote neonatal and maternal health.

Gynecologist treats conditions related to women’s reproductive system

The female reproductive system is complex with several distinct stages that may involve conditions right from the onset of the menstrual cycle all the way to menopause. They are trained to deal with women of all ages. The focus of a gynecologist is non-pregnancy aspects of a woman’s reproductive health and care, including treating diseases and disorders specific to women. A woman is advised to go for regular check-ups starting from puberty to prevent and detect any issues that may affect her future reproductive life. This may include examination for pelvic floor disorders, abnormal bleeding, infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome, or endometriosis.  Conditions of reproductive organs that gynecologists generally diagnose and treat are that of the cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, vagina, and also ovarian cyst treatment in Chennai. Pregnancy and menopausal care are inclusive of gynecological services.

  • Primary check-ups – The primary specialty of a gynaecologist is the maintenance of a woman’s reproductive health through regular checks and examinations. A woman’s age, genetic predisposition and comorbidities which may be risk factors are considered by these practitioners in the regular analysis of a woman’s continued reproductive health. Gynaecologists also perform standard examinations such as pap tests, breast and pelvic exams.

  • Diagnosis and treatment of conditions – Conditions of the female reproductive system that encapsulates more severe diagnosis and treatment include infections, sexually transmitted diseases, cancer of the ovaries, uterus, cervix, vagina or fallopian tubes, pelvic inflammatory disease, pelvic organ prolapse, endometriosis, cervical or vaginal polyps, fibroids, ovarian cysts, menstrual abnormalities, hormonal disorders and menopausal issues. Gynaecologists know to recognize the signs of potentially significant women’s health problems and can guide efficiently to seek out treatment plans for these conditions in their early stages. Gynaecologists also perform fertility testing and provide treatment for women with disorders such as PCOS who are having trouble in getting pregnant.

  • Sexual dysfunctions – Sexual dysfunction have many causes which take several forms that can happen before, during or even after sex. The most common problems related to female sexual dysfunction that are addressed by gynaecologists include orgasmic disorder, vaginal dryness, vulvodynia, vaginismus, dyspareunia or painful intercourse, low libido or lack of sexual desire. The gynaecologist would understand the physical or psychological causes for the dysfunction before choosing and recommending therapies.

  • Surgical procedures – A gynaecologist performs surgical procedures on reproductive organs such as a hysterectomy, tubal ligation, colposcopy, dilatation and curettage, myomectomy, ovarian cystectomy and labiaplasty. Highly skilled and caring gynaecologist can ensure the safety and comfort when surgical procedures are necessary.

Maintenance of women’s health through a broader spectrum of routine health care throughout life including pregnancy and childbirth is significant with the help of an obstetrician and gynecologist. A practitioner in both obstetrics and gynecology is common as the addition of obstetrics in gynecological practice allows them to be specially trained and skilled in working with pregnant and postpartum women as well. Experienced Chennai gynecologist who practices with skill in obstetrics would be complete for a woman to begin and continue with reproductive wellness through combined, comprehensive, and total health care.

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Disclaimer: The content of this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended for use as diagnosis or treatment of a health problem, and should not be used as a substitute for a visit with a healthcare professional. If you have questions or concerns or you feel that you have symptoms regarding a health or medical condition, you are recommended to contact your physician or get in touch with chennaigynecologist.com for proper treatment.

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