Obstetrics and Gynecology are specialties that deal with the female reproductive system. Both fields care for the well-being of women through every phase of their life, including routine and preventive care screenings.

Comprehensive Care for Women’s Health in San Antonio

Whether you are taking charge of your reproductive health, expecting the birth of your baby, transitioning to menopause or planning your golden years, an OBGYN can help you at every stage of your life. But what is the difference between obstetrics and gynecology? Although obstetrics and gynecology are often interchangeable, they have distinct differences. Read on to learn more about these fields and what to expect during an appointment with an OB/GYN.

What Is Obstetrics and Gynecology?

An OB/GYN, or an obstetrician-gynecologist, is a trained professional who specializes in the care of the female reproductive system, including surgery, management of the care of pregnant women, gynecologic care, oncology and primary health care. Doctors often practice these two medical fields together and may be referred to as OB/GYNs.

OB/GYNs work across a wide range of services and build upon a broad base of knowledge and skills that help them develop a unique type of practice and specialize in other related subspecialties. Some may choose to focus on a specific aspect of the field that requires further training, expertise and accreditation, such as: 

  • Maternal-fetal medicine specialists – are doctors who care for and consult on patients with high-risk pregnancies
  • Reproductive endocrinologists – are doctors capable of managing complex problems related to reproductive endocrinology and infertility, including aspects of assisted reproduction, such as in vitro fertilization 
  • Gynecologic oncologists – are doctors who specialize in treating cancer of the reproductive organs, such as ovarian and cervical cancer 
  • Female pelvic specialists – are doctors who focus on injuries and disorders of the pelvic floor and related structures, which include incontinence and prolapse pelvic organs 

What Is the Difference Between Obstetrics and Gynecology?

Obstetrics

Obstetrics is the branch of medicine specifically related to pregnant women's medical and surgical care. Obstetricians help to maintain a woman's overall health during the pregnancy, labor, childbirth and postpartum stages.

Gynecology

Similarly, gynecology focuses on women's health with a focus on the diagnosis, treatment and care of a wide range of conditions that affect the female reproductive system, which includes sexually transmitted infections and chronic pain. Gynecology also treats any issues that affect women's breasts. 

This branch of medicine is an overarching field from puberty through adulthood. One can be a gynecologist and not an obstetrician, though one cannot be an obstetrician without being a gynecologist.

What Are Gynecological Disorders?

Aside from the many biological changes and functions women go through in their lifetime, a spectrum of gynecological problems can afflict women and cause debilitating pain, infertility or even death. Consult a gynecologist if you have symptoms such as pelvic, vulvar and vaginal pain or abnormal uterine bleeding.

Conditions commonly treated by gynecologists include:

  • Issues relating to pregnancy, fertility, menstruation and menopause
  • Family planning, including contraception, sterilization and pregnancy termination
  • Problems with tissues that support the pelvic organs, including ligaments and muscles
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Urinary and fecal incontinence
  • Benign conditions of the reproductive tract, such as ovarian cysts, vulvar and vaginal ulcers, fibroids, breast disorders and other non-cancerous changes
  • Premalignant conditions, such as endometrial hyperplasia and cervical dysplasia
  • Cancers of the reproductive tract and the breasts and pregnancy-related tumors
  • Congenital abnormalities of the female reproductive tract
  • Emergency care relating to gynecology
  • Endometriosis
  • Pelvic inflammatory diseases, including abscesses
  • Sexuality, including health issues relating to same-sex and bisexual relationships
  • Sexual dysfunction

What Are Gynecological Procedures?

Most OBGYNs are general practitioners who can provide preventive examinations and primary care for various gynecologic problems, perform surgical procedures and manage labor and delivery. Some of the most common office gynecological procedures include colposcopy, endometrial biopsy, pap smears and vulvar biopsy. Other OBGYNs carry out additional complex gynecological procedures, such as:

  • Laser surgery
  • Diagnostic laparoscopy
  • Operative laparoscopy, such as laparoscopic ovarian cystectomy
  • Tubal ligation
  • Diagnostic and operative hysteroscopy
  • Endometrial ablation
  • Hysterectomies performed vaginally, abdominally or laparoscopically
  • Abdominal or laparoscopic myomectomies
  • Obstetrical procedures, such as cervical cerclage, dilation and curettage, amniocentesis, cesarean section, circumcision and forceps and vacuum deliveries

Schedule an Appointment

If you're experiencing pain or discomfort related to a gynecologic condition, have been recently diagnosed or know someone who has, Baptist Medical Network is your destination for women's health services in San Antonio. Our goal is to help you achieve better health for life. To learn more about our comprehensive portfolio of gynecologic services and vast network of healthcare providers or schedule an appointment, call 888-417-4961 or find an OBGYN nearby here.

Insurances Accepted

We accept various medical insurance plans at our multiple locations in San Antonio, so you can get the care you need for your condition. For questions about your coverage, please contact your insurance provider directly or visit our patient resources page for your billing and insurance questions. If you have specific questions regarding insurance coverage at any Baptist Medical Network location, call us at 210-606-9071.

Find an OBGYN Doctor in San Antonio

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment with one of our OBGYN providers, our urogynecologist or our gynecologic oncologist, or to learn more about our women's services at Baptist Medical Network, please fill out the form below to be contacted. If you are interested in a pregnancy confirmation appointment, please call one of our offices to schedule. If it is an emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

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