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What is Gynecology?

Updated on November 15, 2010

Gynecology is the branch of medicine that deals with diseases and disorders of the female reproductive system. Most gynecologists are obstetricians as well, but the specialty of obstetrics is limited to the care of pregnant women and the delivery of infants.

The organs and structures studied by the gynecologist are the ovaries, oviducts, uterus, cervix, vagina, vulva, and breasts. Among the various diseases and disorders that affect these structures are congenital defects, infections, inflammations, benign and malignant tumors, disturbances of the sex hormones, and injuries, particularly those that occur during childbirth.

In addition to these disorders, the gynecologist is concerned with functional (nonpathological) disturbances of the reproductive system, including sterility and certain menstrual disorders. He may also instruct his patients on the proper use of contraceptives and prescribe contraceptive drugs or devices.

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