Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Nature of the work
Obstetrics and gynaecology is concerned with
the care of the pregnant woman, her unborn child and the management
of diseases specific to women.
Working in obstetrics and gynaecology
Most consultants within the specialty work in
both obstetrics and gynaecology. Many have a major special interest
in a particular area, such as high-risk obstetrics, fertility care
or minimal access surgery. A smaller number of consultants work as
sub specialists, with all of their work concentrated in a specific
area of practice.
This is a varied specialty, where unexpected
challenges can present themselves on a daily basis. Work includes a
large number of hands-on procedures, both in obstetrics and
gynaecology, and acquiring practical skills is a key part of the
Obstetrics and gynaecology is an exciting
area. Many new techniques and procedures have been developed over
the past 30 years, and transformed the health of women and babies.
It is an evolving discipline with many research arms, both at
clinical and molecular level.
Common procedures / interventions
Within obstetrics, most uncomplicated
deliveries are performed by midwives, but all obstetricians are
also able to carry out a normal delivery. Assisted, or instrumental
delivery is sometimes needed, as is caesarean section, either as an
emergency or planned procedure.
Within gynaecology, operative procedures range from those related
to problems such as miscarriage and abnormal bleeding, to major
abdominal surgery in the event of gynaecological cancers.
Increasingly, conservative approaches to surgical treatment are
being developed. Minimal access surgery for problems such as
endometriosis have enabled specific treatments to be introduced for
these sorts of conditions.
Associated sub specialties
Sub specialties include:
- materno-fetal medicine
- gynaecological oncology
- reproductive medicine
- sexual and reproductive healthcare
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