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Tips On Choosing An OB/GYN

Tips On Choosing An OB/GYN

An obstetrician, also commonly called an OB/GYN, usually offers a variety of women’s health services, such as annual Pap tests. Obstetricians are also trained to manage complications during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.

What is an OB/GYN?

An obstetrician is a medical doctor who specializes in the management of pregnancy,

What services do OB/GYN provide?

The services offered may vary depending on the specialty and advanced training of the OB/GYN. Some physicians choose to practice only obstetrics; others may choose to practice only gynecology. Most OB/GYNs choose to practice both specialties and offer a variety of services.

These services may include:

  • Prenatal care
  • Labor and birt care
  • Annual gynecologic exams, including Pap smear test and breast exam
  • Contraceptive counseling
  • Abnormal Pap test treatment, including colposcopy, cryosurgery and cone biopsy
  • Acute and chronic medical conditions such as endometriosis
  • Infertility diagnosis and treatment
  • Menopause management
  • Find an Ob/Gyn

Where do Obstetricians practice?

Many obstetricians practice in a private office, with or without a group of physicians. They may also practice in a hospital or clinic setting. Some experienced OB/GYNs maintain teaching positions at university hospitals.

How are Obstetricians trained?

Obstetricians must complete the requirements set by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG).

The requirements include:

  • Graduation from approved medical school
  • Completion of four years of residency training that includes: obstetrics, gynecology, gynecologic oncology, ultrasonography, and preventive care

After completing the residency training, OB/GYNs must pass a test administered by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) to be board certified. Some OB/GYNs may choose to further pursue a sub-specialty such as infertility or maternal/fetal medicine.

What are the advantages of using an Obstetrician?

One reason many women choose an obstetrician for their pregnancy is because they are comfortable with their current OB/GYN. Other women choose to use an OB/GYN because they are experiencing a high risk pregnancy.

Some possible benefits to using an OB/GYN include:

  • Specialized training to manage complications such aspreeclampsia or placenta previa
  • Access to medical technology such as ultrasound and genetic testing
  • Specialized surgical training if a cesarean birth becomes necessary

What are the disadvantages of using an Obstetrician?

Approximately 60-80% of women experience a low risk pregnancy. Using an obstetrician may be a disadvantage if you desire a more natural, hands off approach to pregnancy and childbirth. Obstetricians are trained to manage complications using many medical interventions.

Some possible disadvantages to using an OB/GYN include:

  • Increased risk of an, induction, or assisted delivery
  • Increased chance of cesarean birth
  • Birth location at hospital rather than birth center or home
  • Higher cost for prenatal care and birth