Gynecologist

What Is a Gynecologist?

Gynecologists refer to medical doctors specializing in women’s reproductive systems. They are experts in diagnosing and treating female reproductive issues related to breasts, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.

Although a general practitioner can diagnose and treat minor health issues, gynecologists should always be consulted regarding routine health care and treatment of diseases and disorders related to women’s reproductive systems.

Almost all modern gynecologists are also obstetricians, as their specialties may overlap. An OB-GYN is a healthcare provider who specializes in both obstetrics and gynecology. In addition to vaginal delivery, OB-GYNs also perform C-sections.

Education and Training

A gynecologist must complete medical schooling and residency that usually takes eight years. A four-year residency follows the medical school education in obstetrics-gynecology is required to become a certified gynecologist.

Some of the specialties of gynecologists include:

  • Pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum care
  • Genetic counseling
  • Health issues related to hormones, reproductive systems, and breast health
  • Screening of cancer
  • The diagnosis and treatment of hormone disorder, infection, and urinary tract problems

In addition, gynecologists undergo surgery training to treat women’s reproductive system cancer. A gynecologist is trained enough to carry out the following diagnosis/tests of women seeking advice about their overall wellbeing:

  • Regular physical examinations and health screenings
  • Immunizations
  • Women’s health care regardless of their reproductive system

Furthermore, a certified gynecologist requires three more years to specialize in particular gynae fields like gynecologic oncology, pediatric gynecology, maternal-fetal medicines, etc. Some of the additional training areas of gynae are as follows;

  • Breast care
  • Family planning
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Adolescent gynecology
  • Pelvic therapy and reconstructive surgery

Diseases treated by the Gynecologist

There are the following conditions/diseases which are commonly dealt with by the gynecologist;

  • Cancer and pre-cancerous diseases of the reproductive organs, including ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix, vagina, and vulva
  • Incontinence of urine
  • Amenorrhoea (absent menstrual periods)
  • Dysmenorrhoea (painful menstrual periods)
  • Menorrhagia (heavy menstrual periods) 
  • Infertility
  • Prolapse of pelvic organs
  • Infections of the vagina, cervix, and uterus 
  • UTI and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
  • Premenstrual Syndrome
  • Other vaginal diseases

Working Pattern of a Gynecologist

A gynecologist performs several tests and exams to ensure women’s reproductive health. They perform a standard yearly exam that includes a women’s physical examination, a pap smear, test for STDs, breast examination, monitoring of birth control, etc.  

Additionally, a gynecologist needs to monitor women’s medical conditions on a regular basis to avoid upcoming health issues. For instance, diabetic women should be guided appropriately by the gynecologist about the adverse effect of diabetes on their reproductive health and treat them accordingly.

Similarly, regular monitoring can help gynecologists diagnose and treat polycystic ovarian syndrome or cervical cancer well before time. Moreover, women having lower abdominal pain or sexual discomfort may also be checked for vaginal and urinary tract infections. In addition to performing minor surgeries on women’s reproductive organs, gynecologists can also tie tubes.

Procedures of Gynecologist 

Depending upon the reason of visit or medical conditions of an individual, the gynecologist will carry out the following procedure;

  • First of all, a gynecologist gets information about the patient’s medical condition, symptoms, medical history, family history, etc.
  • Based on collected information, diagnose the disease.
  • Conduct the medical and physical examination/test.
  • Advise the treatment accordingly. 
  • Provide general guidance for a healthy life. 

Reasons to See a Gynecologist

An individual can visit the gynecologist in the following conditions; 

Get a regular checkup

To maintain reproductive health, women should visit a gynecologist on a regular basis. These visits should start from 13-15 years. Depending upon the age, the gynecologist can take advantage of your visit to screen the problems such as cervical or breast. Moreover, the gynecologist will also discuss reproductive health concerns like birth control.

Pelvic discomfort

An injury to the reproductive organs can cause pain in the lower belly called the pelvic region. The pelvic region holds kidneys, bladder, intestine, and peritoneum. Pelvic pain can be caused by menstrual cramps, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, and ectopic pregnancy. It is an integral part of our body that requires proper functioning to stay medically fit and healthy. Therefore, we should immediately visit a gynecologist to get instant diagnosis and treatment accordingly in case of any pelvic discomfort. 

Getting pregnant or having concerns about your period

If you experience unusual pain or bleeding during menstrual periods, you should see a gynecologist to determine its actual reason and get the necessary treatment. In addition, gynecologists can also provide guidance and assistance to women who are desired to have healthy pregnancies or pregnancy prevention.

Some of the other following conditions that you need to discuss with your gynecologist; 

  • Vaginal odor
  • Swelling bumps
  • Sexual discomfort 
  • Urinary or fecal leakage 
  • Problems with tissues that support the pelvic organs, including ligaments and muscles
  • STIs

Visit a gynecologist. What to expect?

What happens at the gynecologist’s depends on the reason for the visit and the individual’s situation.  If you are young and visit the gynecologist the first time, you may have a conversation with the doctor about general health information and find out what to expect in the future.

 While in case of older age or serious medical condition;

  • The gynecologist will examine both your internal and external reproductive systems. 
  • You can examine the breast, vulva, or pelvic organ. 
  • The gynecologist may perform a pap smear during the pelvic exam. 
  • Additionally, the gynecologist may press on your abdomen or pelvis and insert a gloved finger into your rectum to check for any problems.
  • If the gynecologist finds any severe medical condition, they may advise treatment or refer to a specialist. 
  • The treatment may include medication, surgery, or following a wait-and-see approach.

In general, gynecologists work independently or as partners with other gynecologists. Some of them work for hospitals, public bodies, and charitable organizations. Moreover, doctors also work in colleges and universities as researchers and university professors.

Across the globe, gynecologists are in high demand that will rise in the future irrespective of the field/institution/area of working. 

Despite enjoying their work, most gynecologists reported the stressful and hectic jobs that make them away from their family and social lives.

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