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OBSTETRICS involves working with pregnant women, including delivering babies

GYNECOLOGY involves the female reproductive system, treating a wide range of conditions, including sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and chronic pain

A branch of medicine that specializes in the care of women during pregnancy and childbirth and in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the female reproductive organs. It also specializes in other women’s health issues, such as menopause, hormone problems, contraception (birth control), and infertility.

OBSTETRICS AND GYNAECOLOGY are concerned with the care of a pregnant woman, her unborn child, and the management of diseases specific to women. The specialty combines medicine and surgery.

In GYNAECOLOGY, patients range from those who have chronic disorders that are not life-threatening (but interfere significantly with quality of life) to those where an acute emergency presentation is the first indication of a gynaecological problem.

GYNAECOLOGY is concerned with the well-being and health of the female reproductive organs and the ability to reproduce. It includes endocrinology, female urology, and pelvic malignancy. The specialty spans pediatric and adolescent gynecological problems through to later years.

In OBSTETRICS most women, although pregnant, are otherwise fit and healthy. However, others will have acute or chronic medical problems that complicate their pregnancy and are under the specific care of an obstetrician.

Obstetrics and gynecology are an exciting area. Many new techniques and procedures have been developed over the past 30 years and transformed the health of women and babies. Improvements in ultrasound have made care of the baby in the womb a central part of the specialty. It is an evolving discipline with many research arms, both at the clinical and molecular level.


Within obstetrics, most of the care of low risk mothers and uncomplicated deliveries are performed by midwives.

About 35% of births are undertaken by an obstetrician, usually for more complex cases or if the baby becomes distressed during labour. Their work includes:

using instruments to assist delivery – including forceps or a ventouse (vacuum-assisted delivery)

performing caesarean sections, either as a planned or emergency procedure


Within gynaecology procedures include:

  • carrying out surgical interventions following a miscarriage
  • treating abnormal bleeding and polyps
  • major surgery for gynecological cancers
  • minimal access surgery for problems including endometriosis
  • Keyhole or minimal access surgery is now commonplace and has many advantages.

Assisted reproduction (fertility treatment) has helped many thousands of women have a family, which would not have been possible in the last generation.

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