Obstetrician vs Gynecologist: What’s the Difference?

Women’s health issues are one of the most deadly in the healthcare field. 311,000 women die from cervical cancer and 295,000 from maternal causes every year. 810 die every day from complications of pregnancy and childbirth.

Fortunately, the US has at least 18,900 obstetricians and gynecologists working today. They’re trained to handle issues that would otherwise lead to preventable deaths.

Obstetrics and gynecology are similar specialties with important differences you need to know to ensure you get the right care. Read on to learn the difference between an obstetrician and a gynecologist.

What Is An Obstetrician?

Obstetricians specialize in the field of obstetrics. This includes every aspect of pregnancy from prenatal to post-natal care.

An obstetrician can deliver a baby, either vaginally or through a Caesarian-section, while a gynecologist cannot. They may also handle pregnancy complications such as:

  • Ectopic pregnancies
  • Signs of fetal distress
  • Placenta issues
  • Preeclampsia

These professionals are also able to help with family planning and deliver fertility treatments to help women get pregnant. They can also help women deal with postpartum depression, an all-too-common condition that affects 10-20% of new mothers.

Pregnancy is one of the most unpredictable processes in the world, which explains why obstetricians often work unpredictable hours. It’s a difficult but rewarding career with considerable growth potential as there will always be new mothers.

What Is a Gynecologist?

Creating a proper gynecologist definition is a bit more complex because their work spans a broader spectrum of procedures. They help with all aspects of reproductive health that aren’t related to pregnancy. They can treat almost any condition that affects the reproductive organs and perform a wide range of procedures, including but not limited to:

  • Breast exams
  • Pap smears
  • Pelvis exams
  • Hysterectomies
  • Tubal ligations
  • HPV shots

Most women begin seeing a gynecologist when they reach puberty and have them address their changing needs when they reach menopause.

Teenagers should search for a gynecologist near me or, even better, a female gynecologist near me, to prevent serious issues later in life. Adults may want to consider a career in the steadily growing field.

What Is An OB/GYN?

An OB/GYN combines the services of a gynecologist and an obstetrician. They’re trained in both specialties, allowing them to handle all women’s health issues.

Searching with terms such as “best gynecologist near me” is worth your time, but adjusting your query to “best OB/GYN near me” may provide better results. You’ll find the professionals at Lifeline Medical Associates who can handle all of your women’s health concerns whether they’re related to pregnancy or not.

Where Can I Learn More?

Women make up approximately 50% of the population and need professionals to take care of their unique health issues.

An obstetrician focuses on helping women become pregnant and helps them have live births. A gynecologist works to ensure the overall health of their reproductive organs. An OB/GYN is educated in both areas and can handle almost any women’s health issue that may come up.

Read the rest of our content for more tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.