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.
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.
Conditions commonly treated by gynecologists include:
Issues relating to pregnancy, fertility, menstruation, and menopause
Family planning, including contraception, sterilization, and pregnancy termination
Problems with tissues that support the pelvic organs, including ligaments and muscles
Polycystic ovary syndrome
Urinary and fecal incontinence
Benign conditions of the reproductive tract, for example, ovarian cysts, fibroids, breast disorders, vulvar and vaginal ulcers, and other non-cancerous changes
Premalignant conditions, such as endometrial hyperplasia, and cervical dysplasia
Cancers of the reproductive tract and the breasts, and pregnancy-related tumors
Congenital abnormalities of the female reproductive tract
Emergency care relating to gynecology
Endometriosis, a chronic condition that affects the reproductive system
Pelvic inflammatory diseases, including abscesses
Sexuality, including health issues relating to same-sex and bisexual relationships
Infertility happens when a couple cannot conceive after having regular unprotected sex.
It may be that one partner cannot contribute to conception, or that a woman is unable to carry a pregnancy to full term. It is often defined as not conceiving after 12 months of regular sexual intercourse without the use of birth control.
In the United States, around 10 percent of women aged 15 to 44 years are estimated to have difficulty conceiving or staying pregnant. Worldwide, 8 to 12 percent of couples experience fertility problems. Between 45 and 50 percent of cases are thought to stem from factors that affect the man.