When you need “down there” care, you may be at a loss to decide what doctor to call. Your Southdale ObGyn provider can help to identify your needs and refer you to the proper place, but let’s take at some of the more common specialties:
A gynecologist focuses on female reproductive health organs: the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and breasts. In addition, their practice includes cancer screenings, pelvic exams, vaginal health, and mammograms.
An obstetrician specializes in prenatal, pregnancy and postpartum care and delivering babies (including surgical interventions). Additionally, they can provide fertility support and pre-conception planning. Most providers combine these first two areas of medicine and support both obstetrics and gynecology (ObGyn!).
Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) is a sub-specialty of obstetrics. Although MFM providers can attend to low-risk patients, these specialists often see high-risk pregnancies and rarer conditions. They can perform diagnostic testing—including amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling (CVS), fetal echocardiography, and more. Their services often include genetic testing and counseling. MFM works alongside your ObGyn, providing counseling, screenings, or diagnostics.
A gynecologist can treat conditions related to the urinary system but may refer you to a urologist for further diagnostics or treatment. Urologists often treat overactive bladder, kidney stones, and painful urination. Start with your trusted provider with whom you already have a relationship. Your Southdale provider can walk you through treatment options and refer you to a urologist if your concern extends into their specialty.
Are you experiencing a skin condition in your genital region? We recommend first reaching out to your ObGyn for treatment. Your provider can review your concerns and both treat and monitor conditions. These may include conditions like lichen sclerosus, vulvar dermatitis, vulvar atrophy, and certain cancers related to HPV. Your provider will refer you to a dermatologist if necessary. Most importantly, don’t be embarrassed to consult your Southdale provider! Many common genital skin conditions may cause discomfort, itching, redness, swelling or pain.
A gastroenterologist focuses on disorders of the stomach and intestinal tract, while proctologists specialize in the anus, rectum, and colon. Both specialties (and some general surgeons) can perform a colonoscopy to check for colorectal cancer. A colonoscopy is an essential part of your healthcare and one you shouldn’t skip. Your Southdale provider will help you plan the appropriate timing to schedule your colonoscopy (typically at age 40).
Chat with your Southdale provider if you’re experiencing hemorrhoids, constipation, or other concerns. Your ObGyn can treat many common conditions and will recommend a further specialist as needed.
No matter what physician you see, it’s important to check out any concerns and to schedule your annual health checks. Schedule an appointment with your trusted Southdale provider, and don’t be afraid to mention any health concern, even if it’s not under the ObGyn umbrella! We’re happy to provide all patients with resources, referrals, and support.