Obstetrics vs. Gynecology: What’s the Difference?
The reproductive system will go through many changes as we navigate different stages of life, which is why it’s important to have professionals you can trust to look after your health. Obstetricians and gynecologists are key players in improving and safeguarding your reproductive health at every age. Even if you feel healthy, regular checkups are an important part of preventative healthcare, ensuring that your reproductive organs continue to stay healthy.
At Women’s Health Consulting, our experienced and knowledgeable team will make sure that your reproductive health is taken care of at every stage of your life. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us at your earliest convenience or book an appointment online.
Table of Contents:
What is the difference between obstetrics and gynecology?
When should you start seeing an obstetrician?
When should I see a gynecologist?
How do I choose a gynecologist?
Obstetrics refers to the field of medical care that involves addressing issues related to pre-conception, pregnancy, childbirth, and post-birth care. Physicians who focus on obstetrics only treat health issues related to the different aspects and stages of pregnancy.
In comparison, gynecology is a broader field of care that involves addressing and treating women’s issues related to their reproductive system. These physicians typically do not treat issues related to pregnancy.
While some physicians choose to specialize in one field, others choose to practice both as OB/GYNs (medical professionals who specialize in both obstetrics and gynecology). In some cases, patients may choose to replace their primary care physician with their OB/GYN. However, this is a personal decision best made between you and your practitioner.
Once your pregnancy is confirmed, you should contact your obstetrician to schedule an appointment.
The first prenatal appointment usually takes place around the 8-week mark. However, if you have a pre-existing health condition or are experiencing uncomfortable symptoms such as abdominal pain, you should book an appointment as soon as possible.
If this is your first pregnancy or you’re booking an appointment with a new obstetrician, they may want to book you in for an earlier appointment for a more in-depth initial consultation.
Your obstetrician will want to see you periodically throughout your pregnancy to ensure the health of you and your baby. They will recommend a timeline for your visits so that they can check on the development of the fetus and address any concerns or issues that you may be experiencing.
It’s recommended that women begin to have annual visits with a gynecologist between the ages of 13 and 16, regardless of their sexual status or if they have begun to menstruate. Check-ups include screening for potential health problems, addressing patient health concerns, providing information or prescriptions for birth control, and testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Regular gynecological visits give patients the opportunity to safeguard their reproductive health and ask any questions that they may have regarding their sexual health. Your gynecologist will provide a safe and judgment-free space to address your concerns and will also provide information about healthy habits and risk prevention.
Choosing the right gynecologist is important, as this physician will be in charge of addressing very intimate and personal health issues. You’ll want to find someone who makes you feel comfortable and with whom you can have an open and honest rapport.
When looking for a gynecologist, they should check all the following boxes:
– They have relevant education, including their board certification
– They have ample hands-on experience
– They share and/or respect your personal values
– You feel safe and comfortable talking to them
– They have exceptional bedside manner
– The facility they work out of is sanitary and clean
– They come highly recommended from your primary care physician or another trusted source
– They have exemplary online reviews
At Women’s Health Consulting, we understand the importance of providing safe, comfortable, and comprehensive care at every stage of your life. We bring the highest level of professionalism to every appointment and ensure that you feel supported as you navigate your healthcare journey. For more information about our services, contact us here or book online. We serve patients from Chicago IL, Cicero IL, Oak Park IL, Forest Park IL, Berwyn IL, Maywood IL, and Logan Square Chicago IL.