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What to Expect and What to Look For in an OB/GYN Doctor

December 5, 2019

Finding an OB/GYN doctor that matches your health needs is critical. Every woman is different, each with their own experiences and health concerns. It is important to find a doctor who is capable of providing you with the general health care you and your body requires.

This article will help you understand what OB/GYN doctors do, and the importance of finding one that can properly assess your reproductive health and well-being. With the aid of this article, you will become better equipped to find the right doctor.

What does an OB/GYN doctor do?

The primary responsibility of an OB/GYN doctor is to care for women’s health. Obstetric and gynecologic practices specialize in female reproductive health, as well as general care. They play a crucial role in women’s health during pregnancy, by monitoring fetal development and helping to deliver babies, but they also care for women from the time of their first period all the way through the menopausal transition. They are also skilled surgeons that specialize in procedures involving the female reproductive organs such as dilation and curettage, tubal ligation and hysterectomy.

It is suggested that women seek out care from their OB/GYN doctor on a regular basis. Annual visits to your doctor will help prevent issues from developing and catch potential problems early on. For women with health issues, it is recommended that they have more frequent check-ups.

Other life events may require more check-ups. Things like pregnancy or menopause tend to bring women to their doctor’s office more often. Additionally, abnormalities such as pain or unexpected changes give cause to visiting the OB/GYN doctor.

Finding the OB/GYN doctor who is right for you

When searching for an OB/GYN doctor, you shouldn’t always settle on the first one you come across. Ideally, you want to find someone with a board certification coming from a well-regarded medical school. These doctors have strong backgrounds that allow them to handle a variety of situations.

Often times, your primary care physician can help recommend an OB/GYN doctor. They will work with you to understand what your needs are in order to suggest a capable doctor. Likewise, you may want to research doctors working within the hospital network you prefer, or those covered through your insurance. Along with this, general reviews and recommendations will go a long way in helping you decide on an OB/GYN doctor.

There are also personal preferences you should take into consideration. For example, some women feel uncomfortable sharing their information with a male doctor and would prefer working with a female doctor. The opposite may also be true. You must assess your feelings and concerns before making any decisions.

Working with specialists

Many women are in need of supplemental support from their OB/GYN doctor. These cases require a doctor who specializes in a specific treatment types. Whether it’s because of health issues or unique situations, make sure you find a doctor with the right background and specializations. Some of the specialty areas are outlined below.

Maternal-fetal medicine is a subspecialty area that focuses on women with high-risk pregnancies. They are also well adept in working with pregnant patients with other medical conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

Gynecologic oncologists specialize in treating cancer found in female reproductive organs. Women are generally referred to these specialists by their OB/GYN after a cancer is identified. They are well trained in both surgical and medical treatment of gynecologic malignancies.

Reproductive endocrinologists work with women facing fertility issues. They have a deep understanding of hormones related to fertility, and help women struggling to get pregnant with a variety of treatment methods.

Urogynecologist are subspecialists who treat women with weak pelvic floor muscles and prolapse. Pelvic health is strongly associated with urinary tract disorders, meaning these specialists are well equipped to treat issues in the urinary tract as well.

Reproductive health with your OB/GYN doctor

Because you will have annual visits with your OB/GYN doctor, you should make sure you are comfortable with them. They should listen to your health concerns and do their best to find answers and/or treatment modalities.

In the event that you need a procedure beyond the pap smear, make sure your doctor is able to perform it. Your OB/GYN doctor should be able to perform biopsies, hysterectomies, and other surgical procedures.

For women planning to become pregnant, make sure you find a doctor that will meet the needs of your pregnancy. Some doctors have more experience with pregnancy and will be able to help you from conception through delivery.

Final thoughts

Finding the right OB/GYN doctor may be a daunting task for some. There is a lot that you need to consider when picking your doctor, such as current health issues and future plans.

Talk to friends, family members, and other doctors when searching for a doctor. They may have positive experiences to share with you, guiding you toward the right doctor. Take the time to find someone who fits your needs: in terms of medical knowledge, technical skills and personality.

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