Your primary care physician knows your medical history, medications and conditions, and is very much in tune with your overall well-being. As women hit their child-bearing years and beyond, many end up spending more time with their gynecologists than with their primary care physicians, especially when their primary care concerns are tied to their reproductive health. This becomes even more so when a woman becomes pregnant and she starts to develop a long-term relationship with her obstetrician.
Rather than enlisting the care of two, or even three doctors, to provide the full-spectrum of care, many women are seeking out gynecologists as their primary health care providers. While the choice is personal and not all gynecologists choose to serve as primary care providers, those who do provide a holistic, personal approach to a woman’s total healthcare.
A gynecologist specializes in female reproductive health, focusing on the health of the cervix, vagina, vulva, ovaries, fallopian tube and uterus. They also provide women’s wellness services, to include pap smears and referrals for breast exams. Aside from pregnancy and conception, gynecologists provide treatment and preventive care for a wide-range of specifically female health concerns, to include menstrual problems, sexuality, infertility and contraception; as well as care for a variety of women’s health conditions, to include yeast and urinary infections, endometriosis, STDs and cancer.
Primary Care Physicians
A primary care doctor should have a broad spectrum of knowledge and expertise in both men and women’s health care, but likely will not specialize in women’s health and reproductive care. And while some gynecologists are comfortable providing overall healthcare for women during pre-pregnancy, prenatal and post-pregnancy, they may not be set up to provide diagnostics and/or treatment for a woman’s general wellness. In many cases, primary health care providers do specialize in overall health and wellness, but often choose to refer a woman to a gynecologist for female-specific issues.
Which Provider is Best for You?
If you are trying to determine whether your gynecologist should serve as your primary care physician, there are a few things to consider. First, do you have a great relationship with your primary care physician? In such cases, you may want your gynecologist to serve as a specialist, specifically with regard to your reproductive health, and leave the general healthcare to your primary care provider. Another consideration – are you spending more time at your gynecologist’s office than with your other doctors, especially if you are now or are planning to be pregnant, or you have been diagnosed with a unique medical condition? Lastly, does your gynecologist provide primary care? Next time you speak with your gynecologist you may want to bring that up in conversation.
World-Class Women’s Healthcare in Syracuse
If you are seeking the best, most caring women’s health providers in Syracuse, look no further than University OBGYN Associates. As one of the largest multispecialty OB/GYN practices in the nation, our trusted providers are known for their kind and compassionate individualized attention. To make an appointment call (315) 464-5162 or request an appointment now.