Obstetrician Gynecologist (OB/GYN)

There are many options when it comes to selecting prenatal care. It’s important to understand the training and qualifications of each health professional in order to find the one who is the best fit for you and your pregnancy. Learn more about the care an OB/GYN can provide throughout the course of pregnancy, labor and delivery.

What does an OB/GYN do?

An OB/GYN is a medical doctor who is specially trained to provide both medical and surgical care to women throughout their life, including during pregnancy and childbirth. OB/GYNs can also serve as primary care physicians, providing a variety of services, including:

  • are expecting multiple children
  • have a preexisting medical condition that could cause pregnancy complications
  • need to have a C-section delivery, or previously had one
  • have a history of complicated pregnancies
  • pregnancy and delivery care
  • family planning
  • treatment of acute and chronic medical conditions
  • adolescent gynecology
  • cancer treatment
  • endocrinology care
  • infertility treatment
  • operative gynecology
  • preventative health
  • treatment of urinary tract disorders

Women may choose an OB/GYN for prenatal care for many reasons, but especially if they:

  • are expecting multiple children
  • have a preexisting medical condition that could cause pregnancy complications
  • need to have a C-section delivery, or previously had one
  • have a history of complicated pregnancies

Education and training

The education and training requirements for an OB/GYN are set by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG). They include four years of medical school and a residency program focused on reproduction, pregnancy and female medical and surgical conditions. All OB/GYNs are board certified by ABOG, with some completing subspecialty training in gynecologic oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, reproductive endocrinology and infertility, or urogynecology/reconstructive pelvic surgery.