Gynecology and obstetrics are twin subjects that deal with the female reproductive system. While obstetrics deals with pregnancy and its associated procedures and complications, gynaecology involves treating women who are not pregnant.
Gynecology comprises of both medicine as well as surgical fields. While many of the gynaecological illnesses need hormonal and other pharmacological management, cancers, fibroids etc. require surgical removal.
Functions of a gynecologist
Gynecologists use a range of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Some of the procedures that are widely used in gynecology include:-
- Hysterectomy or removal of the uterus
- Ovary removal
- Removal of fallopian tubes during surgery
- Taking cone biopsies from the inner walls of the uterus if cancer of the womb is suspected
- Colposcopy and hysteroscopy, where the insides of the uterus are viewed using endoscope like instruments
- Taking biopsy or tissue samples from the cervix, if cancer is suspected
- Taking routine Pap smears from the cervix in order to diagnose and detect cervix cancer
- Ultrasound examination of the reproductive organs
- Laparoscopy or visualizing the inner abdominal organs of the female reproductive system and diagnosis and removal of cysts and infections from the ovaries and fallopian tubes
- Removal of uterus fibroids
- Diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections
- Diagnosis and treatment of urinary incontinence
- Diagnosis problems with menstruation like absence, heavy bleeding, irregular or no-onset of menstruation etc.
- Diagnosis and treatment of cancers of cervix, vagina, vulva, uterus or ovary along with a team of physicians and surgeons including an oncologist or cancer specialist.
To become a qualified gynaecologist, both obstetrics and gynaecology are chosen as specialism subjects.
A degree in medicine followed by two years of training is required. This is then followed by postgraduate training in obstetrics and gynaecology.