To understand what separates a gynecologist and an endocrinologist from one another, you first must understand the fields of gynecology and endocrinology. While the two are linked at times in that they both deal with reproduction, noticeable differences do exist in the two disciplines. In determining whether women should see a gynecologist or an endocrinologist, they are encouraged to speak with a medical professional, but a little background on the two fields never hurts anyone.
To understand the role of a gynecologist, one must first understand gynecology. This is best described as the study of the female reproductive organs and diseases. A gynecologist performs Pap smears to check for abnormalities or changes in cells in the cervix that may require further testing for cervical cancer or conditions that may lead to cancer.
A yearly visit to the gynecologist is also recommended as an annual pelvic exam helps to check for infection or other changes. Women should make an appointment with a gynecologist if they experience abnormal vaginal discharge, bleeding between periods or during intercourse. Establishing a relationship with a gynecologist during the teen years is encouraged.
Endocrinology deals with hormones and glands that produce hormones, thus an endocrinologist is one who diagnoses and manages conditions affecting hormones or hormonal imbalances. Hormones are an integral part of reproduction and fertility and thus an endocrinologist will deal with cases of infertility. In addition to infertility, other conditions that an endocrinologist may handle include diabetes, thyroid diseases, metabolic diseases, menopause and many others.
A reproductive endocrinologist is often synonymous with a fertility specialist, as they work with infertile couples in diagnosing infertility problems and developing treatment plans to help solve these problems. Just as a gynecologist may deal with problems affecting reproductive organs that may lead to infertility, an endocrinologist may work with patients experiencing hormonal imbalances that may lead to infertility.
The best way to understand the difference between a gynecologist and an endocrinologist is to think of a gynecologist as dealing with female reproductive organs and health and an endocrinologist as dealing with hormonal imbalances that may affect fertility. While there are obvious links between the two, it is important that women visit the correct specialist
Those who are still having trouble determining the difference between a gynecologist and an endocrinologist, and thus which doctor they should visit, are encouraged to speak with a medical professional for more information regarding both specialties.