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.
Other diseases treated are yeast and bacterial infections, irregular and painful menstruation, painful intercourse and other diseases related to menopause which may require surgery.
Gynecology encompasses specific surgical procedures related to female reproductive organs. The most common procedures are:
- Tubal ligation – a permanent form of birth control
- Hysterectomy- removal of the uterus
- Oophorectomy – removal of the ovaries
- Salpingectomy – removal of the fallopian tubes
- Cone biopsy -remove precancerous cells in the cervix identified during a pap test