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Gynaecologists are the healthcare professionals who specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders affecting the female reproductive system – the vagina, cervix, uterus and ovaries – and the surrounding area.
Women experiencing specific conditions will usually see a general practitioner for examination before being referred to a gynaecologist.
The titles gynaecologist and obstetrician frequently overlap as gynaecologists are generally trained in practices relating to childbirth and vice-versa. As such, the two roles may be performed by one person. They often monitor pregnancies right up to the end. As with all medical professionals, the primary responsibility is to identify, diagnose and treat problems experienced by patients through a variety of examinations, tests, medical and surgical procedures and prescription of medication. It is also their job to ensure that the patient is fully aware of courses of treatment and procedures available to them so that they can play a role in, and have some control over, the care they receive.
Gynaecologists work in fertility clinics, helping women experiencing difficulties conceiving. They also work in sexual health centres, working to promote sexual health and prevent and treat sexually transmitted infections. They also perform pregnancy terminations.
Gynaecologists and obstetricians are often responsible for maintaining their patients’ medical records.