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Obstetrics & Gynaecology Specialist Doctor

Obstetrics & Gynaecology Specialist Doctor

In general, a gynaecologist is more commonly known as a specialist doctor that only focuses on dealing with pregnant patients. However, gynaecology specialist doctors have a broader scope of work as they master the field of obstetrics and gynaecology.

Obstetrics is a branch of medicine that focuses on studying pregnancy and childbirth. Gynaecology is a branch of medicine that focuses on exploring women’s reproduction. As a medical specialty, obstetrics is combined with gynaecology under the discipline known as obstetrics and gynaecology (OB/GYN). In other words, ob-gyn doctors have in-depth understanding on problems with the womb and reproductive health in women.

Although both handle pregnancy and childbirth issues, obstetricians are different from midwives. A midwife has the ability to help pregnant women to give birth, as long as the pregnancy is not at risk and there are no complications. As trained medical personnel, midwives can handle normal delivery processes. Meanwhile, the ob-gyn specialist doctor can provide medical interventions to the mother, such as suggesting medications to speed up the labor process or suggesting a cesarean section if there are any complications found.

Sub-specialties in Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Obstetrics & Gynaecology has several sub-specialities:

  • Urogynaecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery 

This sub-specialty examines women’s pelvic floor problems and any problems or dysfunctions that arise. The pelvic floor is very important for women as it consists of a collection of tissue that supports the pelvic organs such as the uterus, vagina, lower urinary tract, and anorectal tract.

  • Fetomaternal

This sub-specialty focuses on dealing with fetal and maternal pregnancy issues, both physiological and pathological. The sub-specialist doctor is able to understand the health condition of the fetus and the mother and to detect any abnormalities that occur during pregnancy.

  • Oncology

This sub-specialty focuses on dealing with tumors and cancers found in the female reproductive organs. It is strongly advised to see an gynaecologic oncologist when there is an unusual lump found around the reproductive organs

  • Social Obstetrics-Gynaecology

Developed from the science of gynaecology and obstetrics, this sub-specialty focuses on prevention (promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative) and environmental aspects that can affect the emergence of the phenomenon of maternal and child mortality, as well as diseases that affect female reproductive organs.

  • Fertility-Reproductive Endocrinology

This sub-specialty focuses on studying fertility and hormones related to female reproductive organs. These sub-specialist doctors are generally consulted by patients who are planning to undergo a pregnancy program.

Diseases Treated by Obstetrician & Gynaecologists

The female body goes through different and complex biological phases. At puberty, a woman will experience menstruation, which indicates an active reproductive system and that the woman is ready for the pregnancy process. When the reproductive system is no longer actively working, a woman will experience menopause, which is marked by the cessation of the menstrual cycle. Various processes that occur around the womb and female reproductive organs may be sometimes dysfunctional. Therefore, the role of the ob-gyn specialist doctor is important to overcome these problems.

As a doctor whose specialty is in treating the womb and female reproductive organs, ob-gyn doctors do not only deal with pregnancy or childbirth. This specialist doctor also has the expertise to deal with female patient experiencing reproductive disorders.

There are various diseases and problems in women that can be treated by an ob-gyn doctor:

  • Menstruation problems such as too long or short cycles, menstrual irregularities or problems like heavy periods. Some of the common menstrual conditions  include dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), menorrhagia (menstrual periods with abnormally heavy or prolonged bleeding), to amenorrhea (when the first menstrual bleeding at puberty doesn’t occur).
  • Vulva and vagina-related problems such as vulvovaginitis, non-menstrual bleeding, to vaginal discharge.
  • Cyst or tumor in the ovaries.
  • Menopause, from the initial symptoms to the treatment. Generally occurs in women entering old age.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases, usually characterised by unusual vaginal discharge, pain during sex, or a lump. Common sexually transmitted diseases include chlamydia, gonorrhea, and herpes.
  • Problems related to sexual activity, such as impaired libido (high or low libido), pain during sex, or vaginal dryness.
  • Fertility-related problems.
  • Reproductive system disorders such as PCOS, pelvic inflammation, uterine myoma, uterine cancer, cervical cancer, and endometriosis.
  • Reproductive hormone disorders.
  • Postpartum bleeding.
  • Pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and eclampsia, ectopic pregnancy, low placenta, fetal abnormalities in the womb, or miscarriage.
  • TORCH Syndrome, a complex problem in the fetus which stands for Toxoplasmosis, Other agents (HIV, syphilis, varicella, and fifth disease), Rubella, Cytomegalovirus, Herpes simplex.
  • Emergency childbirth problems such as twisted umbilical cord, amniotic fluid infection, or fetal distress.

Medical Procedures Performed by Obstetrician & Gynaecologists

Although the ob-gyn doctor you meet does not have any specific sub-specialties, an ob-gyn is equipped with comprehensive skills in understanding the female reproductive organs and uterus. After completing medical school, an ob-gyn has to study the field of obstetrics and gynaecology.

Ob-gyn specialist doctors are able to perform a variety of medical procedures:

  • Checking medical history and determining a diagnosis.
  • Checking the condition of pregnant women, detecting problems that may interfere with pregnancy and the health of the fetus.
  • Monitoring fetal development and routinely performing ultrasound tests.
  • Providing advice for maintaining the health of pregnant women such as diet, exercise and other relevant tips.
  • Helping to deal with complaints such as morning sickness to urinary disorders.
  • Providing care and treatment, including for pregnant women.
  • Handling various matters regarding the delivery process and its complications, such as bleeding during or after childbirth, uterine rupture, sepsis, premature birth, placental abruption, preeclampsia, and more.

When to See an Obstetrician & Gynaecologist?

The patient’s need to see an ob-gyn specialist doctor will vary according to the symptoms, diagnosis and doctor’s referral. A woman does not have to be pregnant to consult an ob-gyn specialist doctor. Consultation about reproductive health is best done even prior to pregnancy to find out the condition of your uterus and reproductive system.

Many women feel embarrassed and nervous about consulting on the health of their reproductive organs. Therefore, it is very important to find the right ob-gyn specialist doctor. You are advised to consult an ob-gyn doctor if you are dealing with either any of the following:

  • Experiencing fertility problems.
  • Planning a pregnancy program
  • Dealing with a high risk during pregnancy due to diabetes and hypertension.
  • Being pregnant at the age of 40 years.
  • Prenuptial checks.
  • Seeking to undergo a pap smear examination.
  • Experiencing prolonged menstrual disorders and unusual pain.
  • Experienced a miscarriage.

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