Who Is A Gynecologist, What Does A Gynecologist Do & Much More!

Medically reviewed by Maria Sarino, MD FACT CHECKED

Are you searching for a comprehensive piece of information related to gynecologists?  Do you face confusion and want information on what is a gynecologist? what does a gynecologist do and other related stuff?

Well, I have got you covered. As I have tried to discuss some of the most basic yet important points related to a gynecologist.

These could be really important to understand if you are able to notice any signs and symptoms of pregnancy. Or if you think “Am I Pregnant?”

Having said all that, let’s jump right into it.

Specializing in female reproductive health, a gynecologist is a doctor who could treat certain issues related to the female reproductive tract. Hence, gynecologists primarily deal with breasts, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the uterus of females.

So the different females might always see a gynecologist in case of their body issues.  According to WebMD, 80% of the females who visit a gynecologist might age anywhere between 15 to 45 years.

To become a gynecologist, you should have at least eight years of training and certification from a recognized and official examining body. Such an examining body could be the American Board of Gynecologists’, which should be registered by any professional organization like the American College of Obstetricians and gynecologist (ACOG)

Once you become a gynecologist, you might deal with a plethora of female problems like sexually transmitted infections, signs of pregnancy, signs of infertility, menstruation problems, childbirth, obstetrics, and other hormone disorders.

When you procure your training to become a gynecologist, you might spend four years initially to become a doctor. Then later another 4 years could be spent studying the field of gynecology and obstetrics. Once you pass the required examination, you can be certified and registered to become a gynecologist’.

Further, you may be required to receive a documented experience in patient care, successful completion of the certifying exam, and an oral test.

Once you become a board-certified gynecologist’, you could have a specialty in several training areas. These training ideas might include pelvic medicine, family planning, pediatric and adolescent gynecology, breast care, and minimally invasive surgery.

You may substantiate the popularity of this profession from research conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2016. According to this research, approximately 19,800 gynecologists and obstetricians were working in the United States in 2016.

What Does A Gynecologists' Do?

A gynecologist could help to treat your female reproductive issues. So you may visit her annually for preventative treatments, tests, and pelvic exams. Besides this, gynecologists’ may perform a wide array of errands. Let’s have a look at them.

  1. Evade Unplanned Pregnancies

    If you want to avoid unplanned pregnancies, then the first thing you could do is to visit a gynecologist. A gynecologist might help to prescribe you the birth control pills or even provide you with the required information necessary to avoid conceiving.

    Additionally,  she might even help you to know about the different birth control methods like IUDs and patches. You could work out a plan with your gynecologists’ regarding your menstrual period and ovulation phase is to avoid pregnancy in the best manner.

    More on unplanned pregnancies here.

  2. Resolve Menstrual Issues

    Another major function of a gynecologist could be to resolve your menstrual issues. According to researches, approximately 14 to 25% of women might face poor menstrual health and irregularities in their menstrual cycle.

    The issues related to menstrual problems that a gynecologist might treat could include premenstrual syndrome (PMS), painful periods, or irregular periods. So if you’re a part of the group of women who face these kinds of problems, then it could be great to visit your gynecologists’.

  3. Evade Any Complications Related To Pregnancy

    In case you are pregnant, then you might visit your gynecologist regularly. The gynecologist could help to detect any potential threats to your child and your body. This could help you to stay healthy and evade any complications regarding your pregnancy.

    Here is a detailed discussion on health problems that might arise during pregnancy.

  4. Test For Sexually Transmitted Infections And Diseases (STIs & STDs)

    Another important function of a gynecologist could be to test you for sexually transmitted diseases and infections. The sooner you can detect these diseases, the sooner you will recover from them. Additionally, your gynecologists’ could even help you to evade any such diseases in the future.

    Detailed text here.

  5. Truncate The Risk Of Cancer

    When you visit your gynecologist regularly, she could conduct several gynecological exams. These exams could in turn help to detect any risks related to cancer, like breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and uterine cancer.

    Related text for cancer issues during pregnancy is here.

What Happens At A Gynecologists' Appointment?

When you visit the gynecologist for an appointment, the doctor would try her level best to get an insight into your medical history.

Apart from the medical history, the gynecologist might even try to know about your family history, surgical history, Medications, and your habits related to drug addiction, drinking, and smoking.

She might even review you for any medical issues you might have. Hence, the gynecologists’ may not only try to know about your sexual history but also about your medical history.

Generally, your gynecologist’s appointment might initiate a health checkup. Under this checkup, the nurse may take up information related to your weight, blood pressure during pregnancy, urine, and blood samples.

Next follows the physical exam under which you might be asked certain questions related to your personal and family health, history, health issues, and periods.

The gynecologist could even ask you about your sexual activity, vaccine history, and if you ever had any sexually transmitted diseases.

Sometimes the questions may get personal, but you should always be honest with your doctor.

In the physical exam, the gynecologist might even analyze the outside of your vagina and the inside of your reproductive organs, like the cervix.

Once the gynecologist examines the cervix, she could take a sample of cells and test them for any abnormalities like cervical cancer or HPV.

In case you are sexually active, the nurse might test you for sexually transmitted infections and diseases during your blood test or pelvic exam.

Here comes the end of your gynecologist’s appointment and a nurse could follow up and email you the test results.

Difference Between Obstetrician And Gynecologists'

Before having a glance at the difference between obstetricians and gynecologists’, let’s look at the meaning of obstetrics and gynecology. Obstetrics is a particular category in the medical field that could include birth-related issues.

On the other hand, gynecology specifically deals with the issues related to the reproductive health of women. The commonly used abbreviation for gynecology or gynecologists’ is GYN. Whereas, the abbreviation for an obstetrician is OB.

So an Obstetrician could specialize in the surgical care of females during their pregnancy, childbirth, puerperium, or postnatal care.

Apart from this, they could even perform certain ultrasounds to detect any issues regarding pregnancy, the gestation period of the fetus, and its health.

In case there are certain risk factors, then the doctor might help the women during pregnancy, delivery, and even in the later stages.

On the other hand, a gynecologist is a doctor who specializes in treating the female reproductive system. Apart from this, they could even deal with infections in the vagina and the uterus, fertility issues,  pap smears, hysterectomy, and tubal ligations.

They could also make you are on all you need to know when you are pregnant.

However, the training for both, obstetrics and gynecology occurs simultaneously. So an Obstetrician or Gynecologists could specialize in female healthcare like the detection of sexually transmitted diseases, preventive care, prenatal care, and family planning.

A detailed write-up on obstetricians is here.

When To Visit A Gynecologists'?

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), you may start visiting your gynecologists’ at least once annually when you are at least 13 to 15 years of age.

Building up a relationship with your gynecologists early will help you to be comfortable with her and discuss your sexual problems, menstruation, and other female issues, easily.

Besides this, you may even visit your gynecologist whenever you have any issues related to your vagina, uterus, pelvic, clear, etc. Certain conditions during which you may visit your gynecologists’ are as follows.

  • Detection of sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
  • Any problems related to menstruation, menopause, fertility, and pregnancy.
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Problems regarding the muscles, ligaments, and tissues that support the pelvic organs.
  • Termination of pregnancy contraception or sterilization.
  • Pregnancy-related tumors or cancers related to the breasts or the reproductive tracts
  • Different issues related to the reproductive tract like vaginal ulcers, non-cancerous issues, breast disorders, or vulvar ulcers.
  • Cervical dysplasia or endometrial hyperplasia.
  • Sexual dysfunction or issues related to sexuality like the same sex or bisexual relationships.
  • A condition that could affect your reproductive system, like endometriosis.

Other than this, you might even visit a gynecologist when you have other issues like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, sexual assault, thyroid disorders, or psychiatric conditions like personality disorders and depression.

What To Expect From A Gynecologists'?

What can you expect when you visit gynecologists primarily depends on your sole reason for the visit. If it is your first visit, then you may just have a conversation with the doctor who could get an insight into your health information.

Generally, when you visit gynecologists, you could expect the doctor to analyze your reproductive organs both internally and externally.

After this, the doctor could conduct an internal pelvic exam. For this, the doctor might use a speculum to look at your cervix. During the pelvic exam, you might also see how the doctor conducts a Pap smear.

Other than this, before visiting the gynecologists’ you could even remember certain things. Let’s have a look at them –

  • You should always be honest while telling about your health and lifestyle the gynecologists’. This could help the doctor to better understand your situation and help you more.
  • You may not always shave or wax before visiting a gynecologist.
  • Generally, the gynecological exam might be uncomfortable, but it is not painful.
  • In case you are menstruating while you have an appointment, you could visit the gynecologist. However, it might be better to postpone your visit unless you have an urgency.
  • It could be better to avoid any sexual activity or use tampons for approximately 2 days before your visit to the gynecologists’.

Thus, you could experience a gynecological examination while you visit your gynecologists’. Moreover, gynecologists’ could also help to improve your overall welfare in the long term by counseling you on important health issues.

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