Gynecology or gynecology is the medical practice dealing with the health of the female reproductive system (vagina, uterus, and ovaries). Almost all modern gynecologists are also obstetricians. In many areas, the specialties of gynecology and obstetrics overlap.
Examples of conditions dealt with by a gynecologist are:
- Amenorrhoea (absent menstrual periods)
- Dysmenorrhoea (painful menstrual periods)
- Menorrhagia (heavy menstrual periods); a common indication for hysterectomy h
- Prolapse of pelvic organs
- Infections of the vagina (vaginitis), cervix, and uterus (including fungal, bacterial, viral, and protozoal)
- UTI and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
- Premenstrual Syndrome
- Other vaginal diseases
- Cancer and pre-cancerous diseases of the reproductive organs including ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix, vagina, and vulva
- Incontinence of urine
There is some crossover in these areas. For example, a woman with urinary incontinence may be referred to a urologist.
Some of the more common operations that gynecologists perform include:[1
- D and C, Dilatation and Curettage (removal of the uterine contents for various reasons, including completing a partial miscarriage and diagnostic sampling for dysfunctional uterine bleeding refractive to medical therapy)
- Hysterectomy (removal of the uterus)
- Oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries)
- Tubal ligation (a type of permanent sterilization)
- Hysteroscopy (inspection of the uterine cavity)
- Diagnostic laparoscopy– used to diagnose and treat sources of pelvic and abdominal pain; perhaps most famously used to provide a definitive diagnosis of endometriosis.
- Exploratory laparotomy – may be used to investigate the level of progression of benign or malignant disease, or to assess and repair damage to the pelvic organs.
- Various surgical treatments for urinary incontinence, including cystoscopy and sub-urethral slings.
- Surgical treatment of pelvic organ prolapse, including correction of cystocele and rectocele.
- Appendicectomy- often performed to remove the site of painful endometriosis implantation or prophylactically (against future acute appendicitis) at the time of hysterectomy or cesarean section. May also be performed as part of a staging operation for ovarian cancer.
- Cervical Excision Procedures (including cryosurgery) – removal of the surface of the cervix containing pre-cancerous cells which have been previously identified on a pap smear.