Gynecology is a varied specialty, with doctors seeing patients both in the office as well as in the operating room. Gynecologists often start out practicing obstetrics as well as gynecology, but stop doing obstetrics when their patient population starts aging or when they get tired of being called out in the night to delivery babies. Like all gynecologists, Hot Springs gynecologists treat only women.
Gynecologists treat problems with female reproductive organs, which include the breasts, uterus and vaginal tract. A gynecologist may also treat urinary problems such as recurrent urinary tract infections, but generally doesn’t treat problems related to the kidneys. Although gynecology specialists perform surgery, they usually do not treat breast cancer or other cancers that require chemotherapy and treatment beyond surgery.
Gynecologists may specialize in infertility, treating patients with medications that help them ovulate normally or performing in vitro fertilization or other assisted reproductive technologies. In most cases, gynecologists who specialize in reproductive medicine take additional training, called a fellowship, after their gynecology residency to become a reproductive endocrinologist.
Gynecologists perform one of the most common surgeries in the United States, the hysterectomy, or removal of the uterus. They may also do surgery to remove cancers of the cervix or cancers of the vagina or vulva. Doctors in this specialty may also treat women who have ovarian cysts, which can cause not only pain but can become life-threatening if they rupture.
Women’s doctors also treat several chronic disorders that can cause infertility as well as pain. Treatment of endometriosis, the spread of endometrial tissue to areas outside the uterus, also falls under gynecology treatment. Gynecologists also treats women with polycystic ovary disease, a hormonal disorder that can lead to infertility as well as abnormal menstrual cycles, weight gain, acne and other signs of hormone imbalance.
This type of surgeon also handles many repairs related to childbirth and pregnancy. Many women develop issues such as prolapsed uterus or fistulas, abnormal openings between the vagina and rectum after difficult deliveries.
Many doctors who practice gynecology are women; many women feel more comfortable seeing a female practitioner. A woman’s doctor is often the one who diagnoses sexually transmitted disease and prescribes medication for it. Women see their doctors regularly for pap smears and breast exams as well as for prescription for birth-control pills and to be fitted with intrauterine devices that prevent pregnancy. A gynecologist may also prescribe hormone replacement therapy for women going through menopause and having symptoms that make their daily life difficult.