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Healthline Physical Health

Gynecologists: When to visit and what to expect

Gynecologists are doctors who specialize in women’s health, with a focus on the female reproductive system.
They deal with a wide range of issues, including obstetrics, or pregnancy and childbirth, menstruation and fertility issues, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), hormone disorders, and others.
In the United States, some women prefer to visit a well-woman clinic rather than a family doctor for general health issues. The gynecologist may then refer the patient to another specialist.
A qualified gynecologist has at least 8 years of training and should be certified by an examining body, such as the American Board of Gynecologists (ABOG) and registered by a professional organization, such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Fast facts about gynecologists:

Here are some key points about gynecologists. More detail is in the main article.

  • A gynecologist is a doctor who specializes in the health of the female organs.
  • Many women start visiting a gynecologist from their early teens and continue to attend a well-woman clinic for general health issues too.
  • Women are advised to visit a gynecologist annually for a checkup, and any time they have symptoms that concern them.
  • A gynecologist should be certified and registered with a professional body, such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

What is a Gynecologist?

A gynecologist treats patients with female reproductive organs, whether or not they identify as women. An obstetrician is a kind of gynecologist who specializes in pregnancy and childbirth.

To become a gynecologist, a person must train first as a doctor for 4 years, then specialize for another 4 years in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. Passing a further examination will enable them to be certified and registered.

In May 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that 19,800 obstetricians and gynecologists were employed in the U.S, earning an average of $234,310, or $112.65 an hour.

When to see one

A visit to the gynecologist is recommended for annual screening and any time a woman has concerns about symptoms such as pelvic, vulvar, and vaginal pain or abnormal bleeding from the uterus.
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