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What is Obstetrics and Gynecology?

Obstetrics/gynecology is the medical field that manages a broad range of women’s health needs during pregnancy, childbirth, and the recuperative period following delivery. 
The field of gynecology focuses on the care of women’s reproductive systems, including the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Gynecological care also includes regular checkups on a woman’s reproductive health.
Obstetrical and gynecological care is offered by a range of health care providers. An obstetrician receives specialized training in the area of the female reproductive system and surgical care. Some physicians practice only obstetrics whereas other physicians may choose to practice only gynecology.
Many obstetricians/gynecologists, also known as OB/GYNs, choose to practice both specialties and offer a variety of care. Many family medicine providers offer gynecologic care. Besides physicians, other types of health care providers are involved in women’s reproductive health, including nurse practitioners, certified midwives and certified nurse-midwives, physician assistants, clinical nurse specialists, and others.


Obstetrical medical care covers a range of women’s reproductive health needs, including:
Obstetrical care often is provided by an OB/GYN or a trained health care provider. Some pregnant women seek out the services of a certified nurse-midwife or a certified midwife for care and support during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and the postpartum period.
In addition, it is quite common for the father-to-be or a close friend or family member to serve as a labor coach to help and encourage the pregnant woman during labor and delivery. In some cases, a woman may choose to hire a trained and certified birth doula to serve as a knowledgeable and experienced labor coach while helping to keep her comfortable during labor and delivery.


Gynecologic care includes:

Specialized Care

There are subspecialists in the field of ob-gyn that may be consulted for particular health needs. For example:

Reference: National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development