What Is the Difference Between an OB and a GYN?

What Is the Difference Between an OB and a GYN?

There are a lot of nuances to feminine health, with a variety of medical personnel in your care team. What is the difference between an OB and a GYN?

Who should you go to so that you can achieve optimal health as a woman throughout all stages of your life? Read on to learn more!

What Is the Difference Between an OB and a GYN? Who Should I Visit?

Put simply, OB stands for obstetrician and GYN stands for gynecologist. While both play a significant role in feminine health, there are notable differences between the two. Both can be found at an OB/GYN office, but it’s important that you know who to call upon depending on your needs.

An obstetrician is responsible for all medical care related to pregnancy. This includes pre-conception for mothers planning to become pregnant, pregnancy itself, labor and delivery, and post-postpartum care. So, visiting an obstetrician is ideal for women who fit into any of these categories.

A gynecologist, however, provides care for basically everything related to women’s health. Your GYN treats complex issues such as hormonal disorders, STIs, menstruation, and chronic disorders like PCOS and endometriosis.

There is often overlap between the two as well, especially when it comes to matters of infertility, making both incredibly valuable to women’s health.

What Is Obstetrics?

It’s time to dive deeper into how an obstetrician can help you. If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you’ll likely have or want an obstetrician on your team. Your OB will be responsible for multiple facets of your pregnancy, such as:

  • Assessment and treatment of health conditions or risks related to pregnancy
  • Assistance with fertility to improve your chances of becoming pregnant
  • High -isk pregnancy, carefully monitoring and addressing complex issues for as safe of a pregnancy as possible
  • Genetic testing to determine risk factors for you and baby
  • Labor and delivery, including emergency labor, induction, and birth plans
  • Monitoring and evaluating baby’s health, size, growth, position, and more
  • Postpartum care for up to six weeks after childbirth
  • Prenatal screenings, ultrasounds, exams, testing, medications, and more
  • Pre-pregnancy counseling to assess potential risks or complications as well as your health in general

These are just some of the ways your obstetrician can help you during this exciting, not to mention often stressful, part of your life.

What Is Gynecology?

The ways your gynecologist can help you are near endless too. Specializing in women’s health, gynecologists focus on the female reproductive system, responsible for multiple facets of care. When you’re asking, “What is the difference between an OB and a GYN,” here’s how a GYN will help you:

  • Assistance with birth control like IUDs, the patch, and the pill
  • Diagnosis and treatment of complex conditions, such as incontinence, endometriosis, dyspareunia, feminine cancers, and more
  • General feminine health with annual exams
  • STD testing and treatment
  • Surgical services, both medical and cosmetic
  • Testing with pap smears, hysteroscopies, ultrasounds, and more

While it can be rather awkward to visit a gynecologist, they play a very important role in your health, providing an open, judgment-free zone to receive advice, diagnosis, and assistance for a myriad of complex and not-so-complex issues.

Where Can I Learn More to Find the Best Treatment for Me?

While it can be confusing to keep track of everything relating to your health, Annandale OB-GYN is happy to streamline the process for you, offering a variety of resources and services to better understand and improve your health.

Who we are is a team of professionals focused on our mission to provide exceptional, personalized care and a comforting, welcoming environment.

Learn more about the differences between obstetrics and gynecology, and see which one is right for you by calling 703-642-7522 today!