What Does an OB/GYN Do?
An OB/GYN (obstetrician/gynecologist) is a medical doctor who specializes in women’s health and is uniquely trained in both obstetrics and gynecology. Obstetrics is the medical discipline that focuses on pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care, and gynecology deals with female reproductive health. In fact, the term gynecology literally means “the science of women.” OB/GYNs provide a full spectrum of preventive care and treatment to women with health concerns that involve the breasts, uterus, ovaries, cervix and other components of the reproductive system.
When to See an OB/GYN
OB/GYNs play an important role in a woman’s everyday health. By age 18, every woman should begin seeing an OB/GYN or a gynecologist for a once-yearly gynecological exam, often referred to as a well woman exam. During this annual visit, a physician will evaluate key aspects of a patient’s health, including her weight, height and blood pressure, and discuss any concerns she may have, such as heavy periods or pelvic pain. Other details of this exam will depend on the patient’s age and sexual activity; for example, pelvic exams and Pap tests often begin around age 21, and sexually active patients may be given information on STI testing and birth control methods. Other services, such as mammograms and breast exams, will also be provided based on the patient’s age and medical history.
An OB/GYN is also a woman’s primary source of treatment for problems that impact the female organs. Some common conditions and health concerns that these physicians address include:
- Heavy or painful periods
- Pain during sex and sexual dysfunction
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs or STDs)
- Breast lumps and diseases
- Urinary tract infections and incontinence
- Pelvic pain
OB/GYNs are also trained surgeons who can surgically remove ovarian cysts, perform hysterectomies, repair pelvic organs and facilitate various other medical procedures.
Unlike gynecologists who focus exclusively on female reproductive health, OB/GYNs’ training in obstetrics allows them to provide labor and delivery services as well as specialized care to women in all stages of pregnancy. This includes overseeing vaginal births and performing cesarean deliveries, or surgery to deliver a baby through incisions in the uterus.
Women’s Health Services at Tufts Medical Center Community Care
Tufts Medical Center Community Care is a multispecialty medical group serving women and families at convenient locations throughout north suburban Boston. Our growing team includes experienced OB/GYNs who collaborate with maternal-fetal medicine specialists and neonatologists in our expansive physician network to provide a full spectrum of care to women with a variety of health needs. Whether you have sexual health questions, require specialized care for a women’s health issue or are considering a hysterectomy, you can find the expert care you need and deserve at our practice.
Contact Tufts Medical Center Community Care today to learn about our approach to women’s health or to schedule an appointment with an OB/GYN on our team. You may also reserve an appointment online when it’s convenient for you. We accept most health insurance plans and serve patients of all ages.