Dr Tim Berios – a trusted gynaecologist in KwaZulu-Natal. Gynaecologists are doctors who specialize in women’s health in general, especially in relation to the female reproductive system. These specialists have also been trained in obstetrics (pregnancy and childbirth) but their main concerns are issues ranging from menstruation and fertility to sexually transmitted diseases and hormone disorders.
Gynaecology is a specialist branch of medicine practiced by obstetrician-gynaecologists, who treat patients who were born female or have female body parts (whether or not they identify as women).
Obstetrician-gynaecologists are physicians – medically trained doctors – who have undertaken specialist training in obstetrics and gynaecology
An obstetrician is a doctor who specialises in pregnancy, childbirth, and a woman’s reproductive system. Although other doctors can deliver babies, many women see an obstetrician, also called an OB/GYN. Your obstetrician can take care of you throughout your pregnancy, and give you follow-up care such as annual Pap tests for years to come.
OB/GYNs have graduated from medical school and completed a four-year residency program in obstetrics and gynecology. The residency trains them in pre-pregnancy health, pregnancy, labor and childbirth, health problems after childbirth, genetics, and genetic counseling. A board-certified OB has completed the residency training and passed rigorous written and oral exams.
What Your OB Does
During your pregnancy, your OB will:
Monitor your health and your developing babies’ health, including doing routine ultrasounds, measurements, and tests
Check for health conditions that could cause problems during your pregnancy or affect your babies’ health, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, infections, and genetic disorders
Advise you about diet, exercise, medications, and staying healthy
Help you cope with morning sickness, back and leg pain, heartburn, and other common pregnancy complaints
Answer your questions about pregnancy and your growing baby
Explain what will happen during labor and delivery
Your OB will also:
Deliver your babies
Monitor your health while you recuperate
How Your OB Works With Your Pregnancy Team
Your OB will play a important role before, during, and after your pregnancy.
A urogynaecologist is a surgeon who has specialized in the care of women with pelvic floor disorders.
The pelvic floor is a set of muscles, ligaments and connective tissue in the lowest part of the pelvis that provides support for a woman’s internal organs, including the bowel, bladder, uterus, vagina and rectum. A pelvic floor disorder occurs when women have weakened pelvic muscles or tears in the connective tissue due to excessive strain on the pelvis due to childbirth, repeated strenuous activity, menopause, chronic disease, or pelvic surgery. Other factors that can weaken the pelvic floor include repetitive heavy lifting, tobacco use, and genetics.
The following are some problems that arise from damage to the pelvic floor:
- Incontinence: loss of bladder or bowel control, leakage of urine or faeces
- Prolapse: descent of pelvic organs; a bulge and/or pressure; ‘dropped uterus, bladder, vagina or rectum’
- Emptying Disorders: difficulty urinating or moving bowels
- Pain: discomfort to the lower back, pelvis or bladder and/or urethra
- Overactive Bladder: frequent need to void, bladder pressure, urgency, urge incontinence (difficulty holding back urine when having the urge to urinate)
- Fistulas: abnormal hole between the vagina and rectum (rectovaginal), vagina and urethra (urethrovaginal), or vagina and the bladder (vesicovaginal)
Laparoscopy is a type of surgical procedure that allows a surgeon to access the inside of the abdomen (tummy) and pelvis without having to make large incisions in the skin.
This procedure is also known as keyhole surgery or minimally invasive surgery. Large incisions can be avoided during laparoscopy because the surgeon uses an instrument called a laparoscope.
This is a small tube that has a light source and a camera, which relays images of the inside of the abdomen or pelvis to a television monitor.
The advantages of this technique over traditional open surgery include
- a shorter hospital stay and faster recovery time
- less pain and bleeding after the operation
- reduced scarring
Some fertility problems are more easily treated than others. In general, as a woman ages, especially after age 35, her chances of getting pregnant go down. But her risk of miscarriage goes up.
If you are 35 or older, your doctor may recommend that you skip some of the steps younger couples usually take. That’s because your chances of having a baby decrease with each passing year. It’s important to understand that even if you are able to get pregnant, no treatment can guarantee a healthy baby. On the other hand, scientists in this field have made many advances that have helped millions of couples have babies.
Take time to plan
Before you and your partner start treatment, talk about how far you want to go with treatment. For example, you may want to try medicine but don’t want to have surgery. You may change your mind during your treatment, but it’s good to start with an idea of what you want your limits to be.