Posted by Revere Health

Obstetrics vs Gynecology: What’s the Difference?

April 10, 2018 OB/GYN

Many women see an OB/GYN provider for their women’s health needs, including pregnancy and menopause management, but did you know that OB/GYN actually encompasses two different medical specialties? Obstetrics and gynecology.

Here’s a look differences between the two.


An obstetrician is a doctor who specializes in the care of a pregnant woman and her unborn baby. These specialists are trained to handle a variety of potential complications or situations that may occur during pregnancy and the birthing process, including:

  • Ectopic pregnancy: a pregnancy in which the fetus grows outside of the uterus
  • Fetal distress: signs before and during childbirth that may signal the fetus may not be doing well
  • Placenta issues
  • High blood pressure: often a precursor to pre-eclampsia, a potentially serious condition
  • Cesarean section

An obstetrician is also able to guide a mother safely through the entire experience from conception to delivery to the postpartum period. Other services offered by obstetricians include:

  • Fertility treatment
  • Fetal diagnostic procedures
  • NICU care (this may also be handled by a pediatrician)


Gynecologists focus on the non-pregnancy aspects of a woman’s reproductive health. Women often begin seeing a gynecologist when they become sexually active or at the onset of puberty if needed. Women visit their gynecologist through menopause and beyond.

Regular gynecological exams are important for a woman’s health. Gynecologists perform standard examinations, such as Pap tests and pelvic exams. They may also be seen for diagnosis and/or treatment of a variety of conditions, including:

  • Cancer of the ovaries, uterus, cervix, vagina or fallopian tubes
  • Prolapse: a condition in which the pelvic organs slip forward or downward within the body, often after menopause in women
  • Yeast or bacterial infections
  • Painful intercourse
  • Irregular menstruation or pain during menstruation.
  • Other menopause-related diseases
  • Endometriosis: a painful condition in which uterine tissue grows outside the uterus
  • Cervical and vaginal polyps
  • Fibroids: compact tumors that develop in the uterus
  • Ovarian cysts

In addition, a gynecologist can perform surgical procedures on reproductive organs. Some of the most common procedures include:

  • Hysterectomy: Removal of the uterus
  • Oophorectomy: Removal of the ovaries
  • Salpingectomy: Removal of the fallopian tubes
  • Tubal ligation: Permanent birth control surgery
  • Cone biopsy: Removal of precancerous cells from the cervix after a Pap test
  • Labiaplasty: Surgical reshaping of external genitalia

Many practices choose to combine the obstetrician and gynecologist specialties to provide more comprehensive women’s care.

Obstetricians/gynecologists at Revere Health OB/GYN provide a full range of healthcare services to women throughout all stages of their lives including; puberty, child-bearing years, menopause.


“What is the Difference Between Obstetrics and Gynecology?” Virginia Beach Obstetrics & Gynecology.

“What is the Difference Between Obstetrics and Gynecology?” Surgical Gynecology Center of Excellence.



The Live Better Team

Telehealth is not appropriate for every medical concern, so it’s important to ask your provider whether a virtual visit is suitable for your needs.

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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.