The Difference Between OB/GYN and Gynecology

A lot of people confuse obstetrics with gynaecology, not realising that while there are similarities, there are stark differences too. The two are separate specialties that are each vital in their own way. Women need both an obstetrician and a gynaecologist through various phases in their lives and understanding the difference from the get-go can help avoid a great deal of confusion and ignorance.

To figure out the differences, here’s a detailed explanation of what the two specialisations encompass:

Understanding gynaecology

Gynaecology is a specialisation that deals with concerns about the female reproductive system. Gynaecologists can help women regarding conditions affecting them from the moment they get their first period until their post-menopausal phase.

Gynaecology encompasses conditions affecting every organ in the reproductive system, from the uterus, ovaries, and vagina, to the fallopian tubes and cervix. Frequent breast examinations and pap smears are also conducted by gynaecologists to screen for breast or cervical cancer. Several other procedures such as hysterectomies, pelvic exams, tubal ligations, and HPV (human papillomavirus) shots are also carried by a gynaecologist.

For those looking for advice, your gynaecologist in Melbourne can also provide consultation on matters such as contraceptives, responsible sexual practices, reproductive health, methods to prevent STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), etc. Further, gynaecologists help diagnose and treat conditions such as endometriosis, vaginal infections, ovarian cysts, cancers of the reproductive system, uterine fibroids, irregularities in menstruation, polyps of the cervix or vagina, pelvic organ prolapse, or issues that result in painful sex.

A glimpse into obstetrics

Obstetricians specialise in areas relating to pregnancy. This includes all stages of pregnancy, from the time of conception to post-natal care. Unlike gynaecologists, obstetricians help deliver babies and guide you throughout the gestation period to ensure a healthy pregnancy. In case of premature deliveries, obstetricians also help guide in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). Apart from offering guidance during pregnancy, obstetricians also help new mothers after the delivery to deal with postpartum depression or other issues relating to the pregnancy or delivery.

There may also be cases where complications arise during pregnancy. All obstetricians in Melbourne are equipped to handle complications like preeclampsia, ectopic pregnancy, cesarean deliveries, issues with the placenta, fetal distress, etc.

A number of physicians help provide comprehensive care to women by specialising in both fields. Physicians who have specialised in both gynaecology and obstetrics are referred to as OB/GYNs and are more sought after owing to the comprehensive approach they offer.

At Western Specialist Centre, we have some of the best obstetricians and gynaecologists in Melbourne to help guide and treat conditions related to sexual health and the reproductive organs and offer quality care during pregnancy and post-pregnancy.

If you have concerns regarding your reproductive health or require an obstetrician or OB/GYN to consult with, you can book an appointment with our practitioners or visit the facility at your convenience.