What is a Gynaecologist?
A gynaecologist is a doctor who specialises in reproductive health and treatment for people who have a uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.
What does a gynaecologist do?
Gynaecologists give reproductive and sexual health services that include pelvic exams, smear tests, and testing and treatment for vaginal infections. They diagnose and treat reproductive system disorders such as endometriosis, infertility, ovarian cysts, pelvic pain, and menopause. Some gynaecologists also practice as obstetricians, who give care during pregnancy and birth.
Education and training
Like any medical doctor, a gynaecologist must complete medical school followed by two years of general training in the hospital. In NZ, specialist training to become an obstetrician gynaecologist is through the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetrician and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) and takes at least six years and consists of rotating through at least three hospitals including a rural rotation. During that time, there are also two sets of exams and various other assessments including research. Subspecialty training (gynaecological oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, reproductive endocrinology and infertility, ultrasound, urogynaecology) will take at least another two years.
Reasons why you may need to see a gynaecologist
This may include:
- A regular check-up
- Pelvic pain
- Concerns regarding periods or getting pregnant
- Abnormal bleeding
- Unusual discharge
- Urinary incontinence or prolapse