What Does OB/GYN Stand For?
The medical world is full of mystifying terminology that can leave you feeling a little flustered, but some terms are so common that you’re pretty sure you know what they mean. When it comes to your health, though, you don’t want to be “pretty sure.” You deserve to understand your medical needs and the terms that are relevant to your care. A common term used in women’s health services is OB/GYN. But what does that really mean? Here is a breakdown of the term and a few more bits of information to help you navigate your healthcare needs as a woman.
What does “OB” mean?
The “OB” in OB/GYN stands for “obstetrician.” An obstetrician specializes in pregnancy and related needs. This is the practitioner you turn to as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. They will help you throughout the whole process. Your OB will read your pregnancy screenings, ultrasounds, and other relevant information regarding you and your baby. They will be there with you when you give birth to help monitor your baby’s needs and your needs. You’ll also have a postpartum checkup with your obstetrician about six weeks after giving birth.
What does “GYN” mean?
The “GYN” in “OB/GYN” stands for “gynecologist.” A gynecologist specializes in a variety of women’s health services. You may have thought before that a gynecologist deals only with a woman’s reproductive organs, but a gynecologist can also help with breast health, hormones, and urinary tract infections because they are all connected to a woman’s pelvic health and other women’s health needs. In the span of a woman’s life, you’re much more likely to see your GYN more than your OB.
Why do we say “OB/GYN” if they’re two different things?
Although an OB and a GYN provide different services, their services are very much related. Many practitioners will choose to become a gynecologist and then add the specialty of obstetrician. Basically, an obstetrician is a specific kind of gynecologist. It’s likely that your practitioner is an OB/GYN, but of course, they may focus on taking care of patients with specific needs and end up spending more time doing one type of service over another.
When should I visit an OB/GYN?
According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a young woman should start seeing a gynecologist or OB/GYN between the ages of 13 and 15. After that, you will most likely see your OB/GYN once a year for an annual exam, similar to having an annual physical. It will typically involve some general tests, screenings, and physical examinations.
If you’re experiencing other problems related to your health as a woman, you should also consult your OB/GYN. They have a wealth of knowledge to share and want to help. Many women are afraid of asking questions about their health out of embarrassment or shame, but an OB/GYN is never there to judge.They will always protect your privacy and be there to improve your quality of life. Some common reasons to visit your OB/GYN outside of your annual visits include:
- Abnormal, painful, or heavy menstruation (can be referred to as period problems)
- Family planning and problems related to conception and infertility
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Cancers related to your reproductive organs and breasts
- Benign growths occurring in the pelvic region/reproductive organs, such cysts and fibroids
And there’s still more. If you ever have any questions related to your women’s health services, ask your OB/GYN.
If you live in or near New Castle, IN, or Cambridge City, IN, you can count on Henry Community Health for exceptional women’s health services and dedicated practitioners. Antolin & Benninger Obstetrics & Gynecology has an experienced and caring team ready to serve you. Henry Community Health is also proud to have a dedicated Breast Health Navigator.
Give our offices a call to schedule an appointment!
Antolin & Benninger Obstetrics & Gynecology: 765-521-1217
Cindy Hawk (Breast Health Navigator): 765-599-3149