Obstetrics and gynecology
Obstetrics and gynecology are medical specialties that focus on two different aspects of the female reproductive system. At Virginia Beach OBGYN we provide care to women in all phases of their lives whether they are having a baby or are past menopause. Obstetrics deals with the care of the pregnant women, the unborn baby, labor and delivery and the immediate period following childbirth. The obstetrician ensures that mother and child get the best prenatal care to ensure labor and delivery is accomplished without complications and that should intervention be needed, it is done quickly and safely. Gynecology deals with any ailment concerning the reproductive organs; uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix, ovaries and vagina. A gynecologist may also treat related problems in the bowel, bladder and urinary system since these are closely related to female reproductive organs. To be certified as an obstetrician or a gynecologist requires a minimum of 4 years residency training after attaining a general medical degree. The two specialties are closely related and most of these specialists provide care in both areas. This is why we see OB/GYN on the office door of these doctors. While 90% of gynecologists also deliver babies, obstetricians limit their practice to pregnancy and childbirth. Obstetrics Obstetrics specifically deals with the welfare of the pregnant woman and her baby. During pregnancy a number of complications can arise such as ectopic pregnancy, which is a condition where the embryo is in a fallopian tube, fetal distress caused by compression , problems with the placenta or high blood pressure which can be a forerunner of a serious illness called pre-eclampsia. The obstetrician is trained in these and many other complications of childbirth and ensures both mother and baby are safely guided through all of the phases of pregnancy and childbirth. Whether the baby is delivered vaginally or through a planned or emergency caesarian section an obstetrician is trained to handle any change that is presented during the natural, but sometimes complex process of childbirth. Following delivery, an obstetrician is focused on the health of the mother and child ensuring that both make the transition into routine daily life without the deadly complications that were commonplace a hundred years ago and unfortunately are still occurring in third world countries. The medical specialty of obstetrics has made pregnancy and childbirth a life changing event to be embraced with confidence knowing that modern medicine has made the process safe and predictable. Gynecology While most gynecologists are also obstetricians, the field of gynecology focuses on all other aspects of a woman’s reproductive health from the onset of puberty through menopause and beyond. Women see their gynecologist for their annual Pap test and pelvic exam. Other reasons a woman would see her gynecologist are for infections or any pain or discomfort in the uterus, genitals or breasts. Gynecologists also assist with infertility issues and contraception. Gynecology diagnoses and treats diseases of the reproductive organs including cancer of the ovaries, uterus, cervix, vagina and fallopian tubes. A gynecologist also treats prolapse of the pelvic organs. This is a condition usually present in postmenopausal women with weakened pelvic muscles that cannot support the uterus or bladder properly.