While both OB/GYN specialties provide care to women’s reproductive systems and assume the same acronym, they actually differ significantly in focus and clinical practice. Both obstetrics (OB) and gynecology (GYN) doctors are trained to handle most gynecologic conditions, but there are distinctions between the two fields that may leave you wondering: what are the similarities and differences between obstetrics and gynecology?
Obstetrics And Gynecology
The terms obstetrics and gynecology are often used interchangeably. However, there are a number of key differences between the two. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we want to ensure you are equipped with the education to know when to see the providers in each of these fields.
Similarities & Differences Between Obstetrics And Gynecology
When asking the question, “What is the difference between obstetrics and gynecology?” One of the first things you may consider is the definition of each term. Curiously, though, both terms are defined in a very similar way— according to the American Pregnancy Association, obstetrics is the medical specialty that focuses on care during pregnancy, labor, and birth. Gynecology is defined as the field of medicine that deals with women’s reproductive health. As you can see, these two specialties can overlap in focus, but they also have distinct differences.
1. A Focus On Women’s Health
Although there are differences between the exact practices when it comes to obstetrics and gynecology, both specifically focus on women’s health and the well-being of women. They address a wide range of health concerns related to the female reproductive system, including menstruation, fertility, pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and gynecological conditions.
2. The Use Of Diagnostic Tools & Surgeries
Diagnostic tools and surgical procedures are commonly used in the field of women’s health. Obstetricians perform cesarean sections and other surgical interventions related to childbirth, while gynecologists specialize in various gynecological surgeries such as hysterectomy, ovarian cyst removal, and treatment of endometriosis. Other obstetric services include
- Fetal ultrasounds
- Fetal Non-Stress Testing (NST)
- Labor induction
- Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)
Other gynecology services include
- Pelvic Ultrasonography
- Laparoscopy & Robotic Surgery
- Ovarian Mass Evaluation
- PMS management
Additionally, at Raleigh OB/GYN, we recommend that our patients visit us yearly for their annual exam. Although the annual exam process may vary based on each patient, the annual exam is a time for pap smear screening, breast examinations, cancer screenings, sexually transmitted disease screenings, and counseling women on a variety of health issues and topics.
3. Management Of Pregnancy
Both obstetrics and gynecology play crucial roles in women’s reproductive healthcare, with each specialty emphasizing different aspects of pregnancy management. Gynecological services primarily concentrate on contraceptive methods, promoting safe sex practices, and addressing various gynecological concerns. On the other hand, obstetrics places its focus on prenatal care, ensuring the well-being of pregnant women and their developing babies.
4. Patient Counseling and Education
Both obstetrics and gynecology involve patient counseling and education. Obstetricians guide women through pregnancy and parenting. Some topics often covered in prenatal care include genetic screening, high-risk obstetrics, and deliveries. Gynecologists educate patients about various gynecological conditions, treatment options, and preventive measures such as screenings, vaccinations, and contraception options.
Regardless of if you need gynecology or obstetric services, Raleigh OB/GYN is here. We have been providing comprehensive women’s healthcare for over 40 years. Our team of physicians, nurses, and medical staff are committed to providing patient care in a nurturing, supportive environment.
Although closely related, obstetrics and gynecology have distinct differences. The physicians, nurses, and medical staff at Raleigh OB/GYN offer a comprehensive list of gynecological and obstetric services to the women of the Raleigh, NC area. If you have questions or concerns about any area of women’s healthcare, call our office at (919) 876-8225 to make an appointment.