What Is A Gynecologist? When To See One & What To Expect



Gynecologists specialize in the female reproductive system. Gynecologists diagnose and treat a wide range of disorders and diseases. Most healthcare practitioners recommend seeing a gynecologist between ages 13 and 15 for the first time.

What is a gynecologist?

A gynecologist is a doctor who focuses on detecting and treating illnesses of the female reproductive system. Your reproductive system causes pregnancy and menstruation. It contains the following:

Gynecologists monitor your reproductive health from puberty to menopause. A gynecologist can also treat disorders affecting your rectum, bladder, and urethra, depending on how they relate to your reproductive health. Depending on your symptoms and diagnosis, a urologist or colorectal surgeon may be your best option.

What does a gynecologist do?

A gynecologist diagnoses and treats problems with the female reproductive system. They address all elements of sexual health, including preventive care, cancer screenings, and physical examinations. Our procedures and testing include pelvic exams and external genital exams.

  • Pap smear and cancer screening.

  • Test for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

  • Diagnosing illnesses and abnormalities of the sexual organs.

  • Family planning and birth control.

  • Problems with menstruation or menopause.

  • Assisting with concerns involving same-sex couples or transgender individuals.

Some gynecologists also practice obstetrics (OBGYN). Gynecologists may also specialize in certain areas of gynecology, such as menopause, reconstructive surgery, or reproductive oncology.

When should you start seeing a gynecologist?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that people designated female at birth (AFAB) consult a gynecologist for the first time between the ages of 13 and 15.

What's the difference between a gynecologist and an OBGYN?

Obstetricians specialize in pregnancy and childbirth. They care for pregnant people and deliver newborns. An OBGYN is a doctor who practices both gynecology and obstetrics. This means an OBGYN can help with all areas of your reproductive health, including pregnancy and childbirth.

What is a urogynecologist?

A urogynecologist is a gynecologist who specializes in the treatment of pelvic floor disorders. It is a specialism of gynecology. Your pelvic floor comprises muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues that support the organs in your pelvis. These organs are the bladder, vagina, uterus, and rectum. Childbirth, menopause, and muscle strain can all weaken your pelvic floor, resulting in diseases including urine incontinence, pelvic floor prolapse, persistent urinary tract infections (UTIs), and more.

What's the difference between a urologist and a urogynecologist?

The primary distinction between a urologist and a urogynecologist is that a urogynecologist solely treats women or those assigned female at birth (AFAB). They specialize in pelvic floor problems that affect the pelvis' organs and muscles. A urologist treats urinary tract diseases in women (AFAB) and men (AMAB). This comprises organs such as the kidneys, bladder, testicles, and urethra.

Does a gynecologist deal with bladder issues?

It depends on your symptoms. For bladder concerns, your gynecologist or primary care provider may recommend you consult a urologist. Some gynecologists are comfortable treating bladder disorders such as urinary incontinence (leaking urine) caused by a weak pelvic floor during childbirth or menopause.

What conditions do gynecologists treat?

Gynecologists diagnose and treat reproductive issues.

Some of these conditions involve

When would I need to see a gynecologist?

A gynecologist is an expert in all aspects of a woman's — or AFAB's — reproductive health, including preventative care and cancer or STI testing. If you are sexually active or aged 13 to 15, you should see a gynecologist regularly. The American College of Gynecologists recommends that you see your gynecologist annually.

In addition, you should contact a gynecologist if you have the following symptoms:

What can you expect during your visit to a gynecologist?

Your gynecologist will conduct an internal and external examination of your reproductive organs. They will also examine your breasts for lumps and tumors. Be upfront and honest with your doctor about your sexual activities, menstrual cycle, and any uncomfortable symptoms. This allows them to deliver the greatest care. If an issue is discovered during an examination, gynecologists may order ultrasounds, urine, or blood testing.

Then, they'll perform a pelvic exam. A speculum will be inserted into your vagina to provide a better view of the whole vagina and cervix. During the pelvic exam, your gynecologist may harvest cells from your cervix to detect infection or disease. This is known as a Pap smear (or Pap test).