A gynecologist or OB/GYN (depending on their training) is a health care professional who focuses on women health and the reproductive system (particularly the breasts, ovaries, uterus and vagina).
Gynecologists typically perform physical examinations in order to observe the health of their patients and help those who are suffering from various health care conditions such as abnormal, painful or absent menstrual cycles, infertility, vaginal infections, STI/STD screenings, potential cancer testing and urinary tract issues among other healthcare and reproduce issues.
Note: Patients generally have to ask for an STI/STD test as they are not typically performed unless the patient specifically requests for a test to be done.
During these examinations gynecologists may perform a pap smear and/or pelvic exam as well as other tests to check for various signs of possible health care problems such as lumps in the breast, bloody or watery vaginal discharge, bad odors, back pain, abdominal pain or cramping, pain or difficulty during urination, abnormal weight loss, diarrhea, loss of appetite, constant fatigue and other health care issues in order to determine if a patient is suffering from a health issue and if it is related to the patients reproductive system so that a proper treatment plan can be prescribed.
In addition to checking for health care problems gynecologists also provide health care information, medical assistance, medical prescriptions, advice and training to help women achieve and maintain optimal health.
Because of the extensive training and education gynecologists obtain they are able to diagnose and treat their patient’s condition, prescribe medications and act as a primary health care provider for their patients.
In order to provide care beyond women health a gynecologist may also be trained in obstetrics which focuses on pregnancy, child-birth and postnatal care hence the name OB/GYN or obstetrics/gynecologist.
This allows gynecologists to provide more in-depth patient care that extends to pregnancy and child care in order to give their patients the best health care treatment options available to them and make it easier to obtain all around health care from a single health care provider.