West Hollywood Obstetrician
Obstetrics is the medical specialty dealing with the care of all women's reproductive tracts and their children during pregnancy (prenatal period), childbirth and the postnatal period. Many obstetricians are also gynecologists, meaning they perform in both specialties. In the United States, these physicians are commonly referred to as OB/GYNs.
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.
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:
Labor and birth care
Annual gynecologic exams, including Pap smear test and breast exam
Sexually transmitted disease treatment
Abnormal Pap test treatment, including colposcopy, cryosurgery and cone biopsy
Acute and chronic medical conditions such as endometriosis
Infertility diagnosis and treatment
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.
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.
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 as preeclampsia or placenta previa
Access to medical technology such as ultrasound and genetic testing
Specialized surgical training if a cesarean birth becomes necessary
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 episiotomy, 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