A gynaecology specialist or gynaecologist is a doctor who specialises in women’s health care. Gynaecologists have a deep-rooted knowledge of the female reproductive system and all kinds of issues related to that. They majorly help women with pregnancy and childbirth.
Types of Gynecology Specialists
Abbreviated as OB/GYN, this specialist treats issues related to the female reproductive system. For example, infertility, endometriosis, reproductive cancers, sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), chronic pelvic pain, childbirth, etc. Gynaecologists are also trained in pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, labour care and delivery as well.
An appropriate alternative to an OB/GYN, a midwife can help you with a low-risk pregnancy. You can always consult an OB/GYN if any complications during the pregnancy period, labour or delivery arises. These complications include C-sections as well.
A doula is a layperson who is trained as a labour companion. While Doulas aren’t medical professionals, they can offer you the much-needed emotional and physical support during labour. You can involve doulas throughout the pregnancy or only for labour and delivery. They can also offer support and advice after the birth (postpartum).
How does a gynaecology specialist help you during pregnancy?
Pregnancy is an amazing phase to be in, but it brings with itself a lot of stress and hope. Thus, making the role of a gynaecology specialist extremely crucial.
Here’s how a gynaecologist helps you out.
- She monitors your health and that of your developing baby. The gynaecologist does this through routine ultrasounds, measurements, and required tests.
- It is her responsibility to check for health conditions that could cause problems during your pregnancy or affect your baby’s health. These conditions include high blood pressure, diabetes, several infections, and genetic disorders.
- She gives you the right advice about proper diet, exercise, and medications to keep yourself and your baby healthy.
- It is her job to help you cope with morning sickness, back and leg pain, heartburn, and other common pregnancy complaints.
- Her childbirth counselling (about infertility, sex, pregnancy, and reproductive health) is what helps you maintain the right mindset during pregnancy.
- She helps you deliver your baby through vaginal delivery, c-section or some other method.
- It is her duty to monitor your health while you recuperate after the delivery.
- She provides you with a detailed birth plan. This plan includes details on pain relief during labour, delivery positions, assisted delivery preferences, timeline for holding the baby, having the partner cut the umbilical cord, etc. The gynaecologist might need to change this plan during labour and delivery if any complications occur.
After the birth of the child, the gynaecology specialist also provides follow-up care, such as annual Pap tests.
What kinds of tests and procedures do they perform?
Gynaecology specialists have to perform various types of tests and procedures according to the condition of your reproductive health.
During pregnancy, they perform various procedures like
- Pelvic exams or ultrasound to monitor the fetus’ growth.
- Breast exams.
- Pap smear tests to check for cervical cancer.
- Amniocentesis for diagnosis of prenatal defects and genetic disorders.
- STI tests (Sexually Transmitted Infections).
- First-trimester screening.
- Glucose challenge screening with a glucose tolerance test to check for gestational diabetes.
- Screening for Group B streptococcus infection.
- Nonstress test (NST) to check signs of fetal distress.
- Urine test to check for Preeclampsia and urinary tract infections (UTI).
- Cesarean section (C-section) if vaginal delivery is not possible.
Other types of procedures that the gynaecology specialist has to perform are
- Diagnostic hysteroscopy
- Operative hysteroscopy
- Growth removal of unwanted growth such as ovarian cysts, adhesions, and uterine fibroids.
- Surgeries to repair pelvic organ injuries.
- Vaginal rejuvenation
- Fertility treatments such as egg retrievals for IVF (In vitro fertilisation) or egg-freezing.
- Treatments for infertility and counselling.
How do you know it’s time to visit a gynaecology specialist?
If you feel nauseous, observe unusual cramping, bleeding, and fatigue along with food cravings and mood swings, there might be a chance that you are pregnant. It is then crucial for you to visit the gynaecology specialist and confirm the good news.
You should still check-in with the doctor if it’s only unusual cramping or bleeding as these symptoms might signal to terrible reproductive issues such as reproductive cancers.
Once your pregnancy is confirmed, you should be consulting the gynaecology specialist regularly for prenatal care, especially if you are less than 17 years of age or more than 35 years of age.
If you have a medical history of disorders and diseases, you must check-in for tests regularly. Doing this is essential as you might have a high risk pregnancy involving complications which can prove risky to not only your health but your child’s health as well.
However, the first visit to a gynaecology specialist in a girls’ life is usually during puberty ie., during the age of 13 to 15 years. This is when the girl first starts menstruating.
A woman must visit the gynaecology specialist once she becomes sexually active or in her early 20’s for a proper pelvic examination. She should also get tested for cervical cancer (pap smear) as onco cancers are on the rise in recent times. It is better to get similar tests done to check for breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and vaginal cancer as their number is also increasing day by day. If diagnosed early, there’s a higher chance of successful treatments.
Lastly, you know you got to visit the gynaecology specialist if you are experiencing pain during intercourse, as this pain may also be a signal to an underlying serious issue.
On a Final Note
Whether pregnant or not, you must visit the gynaecology specialist for regular check-ups to ensure your reproductive system is healthy.
You can visit Dr Sheetal Agarwal for any advice, tests, or care. With almost 25 years of experience, Dr Sheetal has been making her place stronger in the hearts of women she caters to. They have been happy with her compassionate and caring approach towards them and their health. You will feel the same way.
Have any questions about gynaecology? Book a consultation with Dr Sheetal Agarwal today!