What Is Gynaecology?

The professions of gynaecology and obstetrics are often muddled up because there is a strong overlap as well as some gynaecologists also being specialists in obstetrics. No wonder some people get confused! Today we clear up the confusion and explain what gynaecology is, what gynaecologists do and how they are trained for the qualification.

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What Does A Gynaecologist Do?

A gynaecologist is firstly a medical doctor but has studied further in order to assist women with their holistic reproductive health. They treat and help prevent diseases that occur in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix, vagina, and vulva.

This caring specialist will also guide you on topics such as:

  • Menstruation
  • Birth control methods
  • Your sexuality
  • Perimenopause, menopause and post-menopause
  • Infertility and treatments
  • Prenatal care
  • Hormone balancing

Some gynaecologists have done additional studies and have further qualified as obstetricians. This speciality focuses on the pregnancy and childbirth phases of a woman’s life. Medical professionals who are gynaecologists and obstetricians are called Obgyns or OB/GYN.

What Are Gynaecology Treatments?

There are a variety of treatments performed by gynaecologists. Some of these are routine and some are specific to a new condition that has arisen. Routine treatments would be:

  • Pelvic exam – This is a physical and visual examination of the vagina as well as using their fingers to feel the internal structure of the uterus and ovaries for abnormalities or lumps.
  • Breast exams – This is a physical examination to check for unusual lumps or growths. Breast cancer does not only appear in older or unfit women, so women of all ages and fitness need to check for it.
  • Pap smears – This involves the use of a small, slim sampling device that takes a teeny sample of cells from the cervix. This is vital for picking up the presence of pre-cancerous or cancerous cells.
  • Hysterectomy – An operation that removes the uterus, ovaries or fallopian tubes.
  • Laparoscopy – An examination using tiny camera equipment to diagnose conditions like cysts, fibroids, etc.
  • Cone biopsy – An operation in which precancerous cervix cells are cut away.

What Is The Gynaecology Training Requirement?

Before even starting gynaecology training, a student has to qualify to be considered for acceptance. There is extreme competition for a place in medical studies in every university around the world. Students need excellent marks that are usually over 90% for all subjects.

If they are accepted to apply, they then choose to do their MBChB degree at Wits, UP, UKZN, UCT, UFS or US. The training is long and arduous with many students leaving due to the strain. Time-wise it consists of:

  • Six years: Theoretical training
  • One year: Internship
  • One year: Hospital practical work
  • One year: Community service
  • Four years: Post-graduate gynaecology specialisation studies MMed or FCP(SA) at UKZN, UL, UP, UFS, US or Wits.

Studying to be a gynaecologist doesn’t start immediately. The doctor must hold an MBChB degree for 2 years and be registered with the Interim Medical and Dental Council (IMDC) of South Africa for 1 year.

In addition to the above thirteen years of study, a gynaecologist who wishes to also be an obstetrician will have additional time spent studying.

We hope the above has answered the question ‘’What Is Gynaecology?’’ Our Dr Nitesh is an Obgyn and can help you with all female health questions and advice. Book now.