As a OB/GYN, you treat women throughout their lives—from puberty through menopause. You also help them screen for and prevent gynecologic cancers and perform major surgeries.
To become an OB/GYN, you must complete medical school and a residency in obstetrics and gynecology. Then, you must pass a specialty board certification exam.
Pregnancy and Childbirth
OBs provide care for pregnant women and babies during pregnancy and after childbirth online obgyn free. They also care for other women’s health issues, such as menopause and hormone problems.
During pregnancy, an OB will perform regular prenatal visits to monitor your growth and ensure your baby is growing properly. They’ll answer your questions and help you create a birth plan.
If you have a high-risk pregnancy, your obstetrician may refer you to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist. These specialists have advanced training to manage a high-risk pregnancy and birth.
Gynecological (gynecologist) checkups, also known as “well woman visits,” are a key part of maintaining your reproductive health. They help you stay healthy by catching small issues before they turn into big ones.
During an exam, your gynecologist will use a speculum to examine the outside of your vagina and your cervix from the inside. This shouldn’t feel painful, more like pressure, and they can adjust the speculum as needed.
In addition to treating pregnancy and childbirth, an OB-GYN can also diagnose and treat sexually transmitted infections, infertility, pelvic pain, urinary tract problems, and women’s health issues during menopause.
In many cases, an obstetrician-gynecologist can also perform surgeries to treat problems related to the female reproductive system. The doctor can also perform screenings for cancer, cervical cancer and ovarian cancer.
Gynecologic oncology is a special field of medicine that focuses on cancers of the ovaries, uterus, vagina and cervix. These doctors specialize in caring for women who have these conditions, diagnosing their cancers and recommending the best treatment options.
Therapy alternatives for gynecologic cancers include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy. For some patients, neoadjuvant therapy before surgery is necessary to reduce the size of the tumor and make it easier to remove. For others, surgery is combined with radiation and/or chemotherapy to kill any cancer that has spread.
Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility
Reproductive endocrinology and infertility is a surgical subspecialty of obstetrics and gynecology. It involves the training of physicians to diagnose and treat hormone problems related to conception, as well as diseases of the female reproductive organs.
Reproductive endocrinologists also perform fertility preservation procedures like egg freezing, which can help women or couples who have a high risk of conceiving but want to wait for the right time to have children. REs also conduct research to further understand human reproduction and develop new treatments.
Menopause is a natural process that occurs when your ovaries stop producing eggs and the production of hormones (estrogen and progesterone) declines. It can also occur if your ovaries are damaged by certain diseases or cancer treatments, or if you have a hysterectomy.
During this time, women may have changing menstrual cycles, vaginal dryness, hot flashes or flushes, and a reduced sex drive. These symptoms can be uncomfortable and affect a woman’s quality of life.
Sexual health is one of the most important aspects of your overall wellness. It can change at different times in your life – for example, when you have children or experience menopause.
Your gynecologist can help you understand your reproductive system, and treat any problems that arise during your lifetime. They can also perform screenings for pap smears and cervical cancer.
Teenage girls typically see gynecologists at around age 13 or 15. It’s important to have a gynecologist as a partner to talk about things like puberty, body image and sexuality.
Adolescent gynecologists also care for adolescents who have gynecologic issues such as abnormal bleeding, vaginal infections, ovarian cysts, hormonal imbalances, pelvic pain, PCOS, endometriosis and sexual dysfunction. They are sensitive to the complexities of adolescent health and provide guidance and support for teens with these issues.