GYNECOLOGY 101: THE ‘WHO’ AND ‘WHAT’ OF GYNECOLOGISTS / AN INTRODUCTION TO GYNECOLOGISTS

Dr. Samina Anwar

2 min read

Gynecology

Derived from the Greek words gynaikos (woman) and logia (study), Gynecology is literally ‘the study of women’. This particular branch of the medical sciences requires, 3 years of intense specialization post-MBBS.

Who is a Gynecologist?

Generally, a doctor who practices the diagnosis and treatment of various issues pertaining to the female reproductive system; uterus, Fallopian tubes, cervix, ovaries and vagina. is referred to as a gynecologist. In addition, a gynecologist also focuses on various reproductive health related issues from the onset of puberty to late menopause.

Being closely linked to the reproductive system, problems pertaining to the bowel, bladder and urinary system, might also be treated by a gynecologist.

When Should Your First Visit Be?

Specialists generally recommend placing your first appointment soon after the onset of your first period, with the general age range being between 13-15 years-although early menstruators younger than 13 should also be taken for a consultation.

When should one visit a gynecologist?

A gynecologist is recommended to be visited for an annual screening or whenever a woman has pangs of pain or abnomral bleeding linked to the pelvic, vulvar, uterine or vaginal region.

Commonly treated gynecological problems include:

  • poblems that are realted to mensruation, fertility, pregnancy, and menopause
  • Birth control, family planning, contraception, and pregnancy termination.
  • problems with ligaments, tissues and muscles that support the pelvic region.
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
  • polycystic ovary syndrome
  • lack of urinary or fecal control
  • benign conditions of the reproductive tract, for example, ovarian cysts, fibroids, breast disorders, vulvar and vaginal ulcers, and other non-cancerous changes
  • endometrial hyperplasia, cervical dysplasia, or any other premalignant conditions.
  • cancers and tumors of the reproductive tract, breasts and specfically pregnancy-related tumors.
  • congenital abnormalities of the female reproductive tract.
  • gynelogical emergency care.
  • endometriosis, a chronic condition that affects the reproductive system.
  • pelvic inflammatory diseases, including abscesses.
  • sexuality, including health issues relating to same-sex and bisexual relationships.
  • Dysfunctionality of a sexual nature.

Gynecologists often offer both gynecological and general health care; this may include preventive medicine for women and diagnosis and treatment of issues such as headache, low back pain, mood changes, and acne.

They are also skilled to treat the following:

  • Asthma
  • Depression and other psychiatric problems
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Hormonal issues including thyroid disorders.
  • Sexual assault
  • Osteoprosis

Preventive medicine may include general lifestyle advice about issues such as smoking and weight loss.

What Can a Gynecologist Do For You?

Capable of performing both surgical and non-surgical procedures, a gynecologist can offer a diagnosis and treatment of menstrual and fertility issues, genital problems, yeast and bacterial infections, prolapse of pelvic organs and general health screenings, in addition to providing pregnancy care options. Some possible surgical procedures include:

  1. Tubal ligation: Permanent birth control
  2. Hysterectomy: Removal of the uterus
  3. Oophorectomy: Removal of the ovary
  4. Salpingectomy: Removal of the Fallopian tubes
  5. Cone biopsy: Extraction of cervical precancerous cells
  6. Laparoscopy: Examination and treatment of various reproductive issues via a camera and specialized instruments.

Additionally, gynecologists are also required to keep in check other non-reproductive ailments, such as diabetes in a patient, inform them of the effects of these conditions on their reproductive and urinogenital systems and treat them accordingly.

The Difference Between a Gynecologist and Obstetrician:

While the general focus and time required for specialization are similar, an Obstetrician is concerned only with conception, pregnancy issues, delivery complications, maternal and infant care and contraception. Whereas, a Gynecologist focuses on the reproductive and urinogenital systems as a whole -including various issues lying outside the sphere of fertility care such as cancerous tumors-alongside the work done by an obstetrician. This is why a gynecologist can also be an obstetrician, hence the title ‘OB/GYN’. However, they can also choose not to practice obstetrics.

Sub-Specializations:

There are four subspecialties in the field of Obstetrics/Gynecology:

      • Gynecologic Oncology
      • Maternal Fetal Medicine
      • Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility
      • Urogynecology/Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery

Each of these subspecialities has official state administered certification exams and physicians can choose multiple subspecialities. Certification is valid given that the primary certification in obstetrics and gynecology is up-to-date.

Gynecologic Oncology

This subspeciality of gynecology is related to consulting and managing patients with gynecological cancer. It requires basic knowledge of major cancer treatments, diagnosis, and complications of oncology.

Maternal Fetal Medicine

This field is concerned with caring for and consutling patients who have complicated pregnancies,

These gynecologists have knowledge of obstetrics, medical and surgical complications of mother and fetus, current approaches to diagnosis and treatment, and newborn adaptation.

Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility

This is related to the treatment and diagnosis of complications regarding  reproductive endocrinology and infertility .

Gynecologists with this subspecialisation have in-depth knowledge of endocrinology and infertility disorders.

Urogynecology/Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery

This branch of gynecology is related to the female urinary tract’s health and surgery as treatment.

Requires knowledge of complex benign pelvic conditions, lower urinary tract disorders, pelvic floor dysfunction, and reconstructive pelvic surgery.

You can now book an appointment with a top Gynecologist in Karachi, Multan and Islamabad through oladoc.com. Or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your womanly needs.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Samina Anwar Dr. Samina Anwar is a Gynecologist practicing in Lahore. She helps patients treat medical conditions like sexual dysfunction, PCOS, and pregnancy related disorders.You can book an appointment with Dr. Samina Anwar via oladoc.

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