What Does OBGYN Stand For? When Should I Seek Help?

In case you are wondering what OBGYN stand for, you are in the right place. After reading this article, you will know what OBGYN stand for and when should you visit your OBGYN Doctor.

OBGYN stands for obstetrics and gynecology. It comprises two interdependent fields of medicine called Obstetrics and Gynecology.

What is the difference between obstetrics and Gynecology?

Both subspecialties are under the umbrella of OBGYN. As stated in the first paragraph OBGYN stands for Obstetric and gynecology. They are both concerned about sexual and reproductive health. But Obstetric is mainly about pregnancy-related health issue and Gynecology focus on reproductive health. Let’s see both in-depth.

What is Obstetrics?

What OBGYN stand for - OB as obstetrics

Obstetrics is a part of OBGYN which particularly concerns pregnancy-related concerns.

That includes

Prepregnancy follow up

This part of obstetrics include prepregnancy planning, folate supplement before the pregnancy and prepregnancy health issues.


ANC is an abbreviation of Antenatal care which includes regular follow-up during pregnancy. The main aim of ANC is to have a smooth pregnancy period, decrease antepartum and postpartum complications of pregnancy by identifying risk factors.

Depending to the obstetric guideline of the country, ANC visit frequency can vary from 5 – 8 visits. And it usually stated in the first trimester of the pregnancy.

During the ANC visit, there are routine investigations done for every pregnant mother. These inlcudes –

  • Blood group and RH factor – This is to identify the possible risk of RH immunization and ABO incompatibility.
  • HbsAg, and
  • VDRL will be done routinely.
  • In addition to this, early abdominal ultrasound can also be done which is important for pregnancy dating and identify congenital malformations early.
  • Tetanus toxoid vaccine will be administered to the mother to prevent tetanus of the newborn once the baby is born.

During ANC follow-up your doctor will pick any complications and provide appropriate treatment. In this case, you may need further investigation.

There are different complications during pregnancy like


PNC is an abbreviation of postnatal care. After delivery, you need to have a routine follow up at the PNC clinic.

When to see your obstetrician?

  • If you are planning to be pregnant soon
  • For routine care during pregnancy
  • If you have one of these danger signs of pregnancy like
    • leakage of fluid or blood per vaginum,
    • headache, blurring of vision, abnormal body movement, loss of conciousness
    • epigastric pain, right upper quadrant abdominal pain,
    • increased body temperature,
    • decrease fetal movement, and
    • if you have abdominal or back pain
  • If you have a prepregnancy medical illness like Asthma, thyroid-related problems, cardiac problems, respiratory problems if you are using drugs like warfarin you need to advise your doctor before you plan your pregnancy.

What is Gynecology?

What OBGYN stand for - GYN as Gynecology

Gynecology is a subpart of OBGYN which mainly concern with reproductive health and sexual health.

That includes

  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Abortion related health
  • Family planning
  • The first trimester bleeding – ectopic pregnancy, abortion, molar pregnancy
  • Gynecologic tumors – including myoma, and malignancy tumors like uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, and cervical cancer
  • Gynecologic fistula, prolapse
  • Issues like urinary incontinence
  • Fertility issue
  • Menstrual related abnormality
  • Sexual assault – rape

When to see your Gynecologist?

  • if you have pelvic pain or vaginal discharge, swelling and rash around vagina
  • if you are unable to control urine
  • irregular menstrual cycle and amount – if your menus stay less than two days or more than 8 days or if its frequency is less than 21 days or more than 35 days, you may need to see your gynecologist. (Read more on normal vs abnormal menstration.)
  • For family planning service
  • any mass protuding through the vagina should be assessed
  • If you are unable to conceive
  • sexual related issue – decrease sexual desire, even pain during intercourse
  • Sexual assault
  • Abortion related service

In summary, what OBGYN stand for is OB as obstetrics and GYN as gynecology.

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