Difference Between Gynecologist and Obstetrician (With Table)

The human body embodies vital organs. Each of them is governed by certified medical professionals. Gynecologists and obstetricians are physicians having different specialisms. Gynecologists deals with women’s reproductive organs and overall women’s health. Obstetricians deals with pregnancy and the health of the newborn. The differences between the topics are further illustrated in the article.

Gynecologist vs Obstetrician

The main difference between gynecologist and obstetrician is that gynecologists are specialists in gynecology whereas obstetricians are experts in obstetrics. Gynecology encompasses the female reproductive system. Obstetrics is a study of pregnancy and its related aspects. Gynecologists and obstetricians are like siblings. Both of them deals with the female reproductive system yet differs in specifications.

Gynecologists concerns about the reproductive health of women. It comprises both surgical and medical aspects related to the reproductive system. A gynecologist deals with vaginal health, ovaries, pap test (collection of cervical cells to examine causes of any disorders that might lead to cancer/ pre-cancer), menopause, menses, lymph nodes, labia, and so on.

Obstetricians deals with pregnancy and its complications (if any). An obstetrician is specialized in obstetrics, the study of different aspects of pregnancy. Typically it deals with amniocentesis (extraction of fluid from amniotic sac for analysis ‘before birth’), birth canal, examination of the cervix through which baby passes ( in case of normal delivery), eclampsia, and conditions post-pregnancy, and many more relating aspects.

Comparison Table Between Gynecologist and Obstetrician

Parameters of comparisonGynecologist Obstetrician
Definition A gynecologist is a medical expert who examines the female reproductive system.An obstetrician is a doctor of medicine dealing with the pregnancy aspects.
Study Gynecology Obstetrics 
Medicate Women with disorders in their reproductive systemPregnant women
Organs Vagina, menses, ovaries, genetic herpes, etc. Cervix, birth canal, amniocentesis, conception, due date, etc. 
Specification Treats women with issues regarding reproductive health.Restricted to the treatment of pregnancy and related aspects.

What is Gynecologist?

A doctor with having a specialism in gynecology is a gynecologist. A gynecologist analyses and detects disorders in female reproductive hormones. It deals with symptoms like irregular menstruation cycle, vaginal infection, fluctuation in body weight (related to thyroid, also a factor for PCOD), that is it concerns the overall female health.

Gynecologists create awareness about the sexual and reproductive health of women. It includes an examination of discharged fluids that clarifies the health status of a female. Pap tests are conducted by gynecologists to judge the probability of cancer (cervical cancer). They also analyze cysts in ovaries. They perform surgery besides giving medical advice.

Few disorders diagnosed by a gynecologist are as follows

  1. Amenorrhea: This is a disorder where the individual undergoes minimal or no menstrual periods. 
  2. Anovulation: an ovarian disorder preventing the formation and releasing of eggs.
  3. Genetical herpes: a disease resulting due to sexual intercourse.
  4. Hysterectomy: removal of uterus by surgery.
  5. Menopause 

A gynecologist also performs ultrasonography to detect underlying disorders or imbalances. After receiving the degree a gynecologist may engage in subspecialties like family planning, pediatric, and adolescent gynecology, pelvic medicine, reconstructive surgery, and breast care.

It is necessary to visit your gynecologist to be aware of any underlying issues that might lead to severe outcomes if left untreated. 

What is Obstetrician?

An obstetrician deals with the study of obstetrics. Obstetrics is the study of the reproductive system of pregnant women. Pre-pregnancy and post-pregnancy periods are analyzed by an obstetrician.

An obstetrician’s field of specialization includes pregnancy, the birth of the child, and various complications before, during, and after the birth of the child. An obstetrician is your guide throughout your pregnancy and provides a follow-up diagnosis.

An obstetrician examines the baby’s health besides yours during pregnancy. The examination procedure includes ultrasonography, tests, and scaling. They also monitor factors that might bother your baby’s health like high blood pressure, diabetes, hormonal imbalance, and infections. Plan an effective meal plan for you, that is foods you must intake. They also provide you with exercises, meditation for the proper development of the baby. Make you aware of the labor and delivery process, supports you with adequate and enough information you need. During delivery, an obstetrician analyses your progress besides nurses and associate physicians.

Few medical aspects during pregnancy that OB analyses are

  1. Amniocentesis
  2. Amniotic sac
  3. Conception
  4. Eclampsia 
  5. Birth canal
  6. Braxton hicks contractions.
  7. Cervix
  8. Embryo
  9. Fetus
  10. Maternal hemorrhage
  11. Labor 
  12. Multiples pregnancy
  13. Post-term pregnancy
  14. Preeclampsia
  15. Premature birth
  16. Stillbirth and so on.

An obstetrician also governs In-vitro fertilization.

Main Differences Between Gynecologist And Obstetrician

  1. A gynecologist is a medical professional who expertizes in the female reproductive system whereas an obstetrician governs the reproductive system in a pregnant woman.
  2. A gynecologist studies gynecology. An obstetrician studies obstetrics.
  3. The former gives medical advice to women with hormonal imbalances while an obstetrician provides medical assistance to women during pregnancy.
  4.  Vaginal infection, irregular menses, cysts in ovaries, genetic herpes, etc are governed by a gynecologist. Cervix, birth canal, amniocentesis, conception, due date, etc. falls under the examination of an obstetrician.
  5. Gynecologists have no relation with pregnancy while obstetricians deal with pregnancy and aspects related to it.

Conclusions

A gynecologist and an obstetrician are medical professionals treating disorders related to the female reproductive tract. The former deals with the overall female health, imbalances in hormones, and the reproductive system. Whereas an obstetrician provides medical awareness to pregnant women. A gynecologist studies gynecology and an obstetrician study obstetrics. During childbirth a gynecologist plays no role, an obstetrician plays the leading role. A gynecologist need not know about obstetrics but one can be an obstetrician only if they acquire knowledge in gynecology. 

Before being certified professionals both of them require minimum qualifications including high school graduation, UG (4 years). They need to excel in MCAT (‘Medical College Admission Test) to earn a good posting. After completion they undergo residency, it varies with countries but the overall training is quite like this.

Both of the specialists serve the purpose of maintaining the good reproductive health of females and create awareness for safety.

References 

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