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Gynecologists and urogynecologists often treat different conditions, but they're both essential to the health of women and those assigned female at birth. Understanding how these specialty areas differ can help you ensure you’re seeing the right specialist for your health concerns.
“Gynecology is the branch of medicine that involves the care and treatment of the reproductive system,” said Woojin Chong, M.D., medical director of urogynecology at Inspira Medical Group. “Gynecologists are trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of reproductive conditions and provide routine screenings, preventive care and physical exams.”
Gynecologists often handle the following:
- Annual preventive exams, including Papanicolaou (pap) tests to screen for cervical cancer
- Testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Diagnosing disorders or diseases involving the sexual and reproductive organs
- Reproductive health concerns for transgender or nonbinary individuals and same-sex couples
- Birth control and family planning counseling
- Issues with irregular menstruation, pelvic pain and abnormal vaginal discharge
- Management of menopausal symptoms
Many gynecologists are OB/GYNs, specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. While gynecology involves treating and caring for all reproductive issues, obstetricians specialize in pre-conception, pregnancy, birth and postpartum care.
What is Urogynecology?
“Urogynecology is a specialty field that focuses on the health of the pelvic floor and urinary tract,” said Dr. Chong. “Urogynecologists are experienced in diagnosing and treating noncancerous conditions affecting the bladder, urethra, gynecologic organs and pelvic floor muscles.”
Urogynecologists treat a wide range of pelvic disorders, which can be caused by childbirth or strenuous activity. The conditions they often treat include:
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Urethral or bladder dysfunction, including overactive bladder and urinary leakage
- Bladder pain or discomfort
- Vulvovaginal concerns
- Pelvic pain
- Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
How do I know which specialist to see?
Patients with gynecologic concerns should start by talking to their gynecologist. “Your gynecologist can handle your routine care and the diagnosis and treatment of many reproductive issues,” said Dr. Chong. “However, you may be referred to a urogynecologist for certain conditions.”
Talk to your gynecologist and primary care provider if you have any concerns about your reproductive health. Our skilled specialists are sensitive to patient needs and have years of experience diagnosing, treating and educating patients. Schedule an appointment with an Inspira gynecologist or urogynecologist.
Inspira Health is a high reliability organization (HRO), which means safety is the top priority for patients and staff. To make an appointment, call 1-800-INSPIRA.