An obstetrician-gynaecologist is a specialist doctor who cares for women and specialises in pregnancy, childbirth and reproductive health. They help women before, during and after childbirth, detect sexually transmitted diseases, perform reproductive health screening and surgical procedures (such as caesareans, hysterectomies and tubal ligations).
Obstetricians-gynaecologists can also give family planning advice.
Obstetrics refers to a specialisation in maternity care, whereas gynaecology refers to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of infections and diseases of women’s reproductive organs. Obstetrics and gynaecology are combined to form a single medical specialisation and so your obstetrician-gynaecologist is educated and has training in both areas.
Obstetricians-gynaecologists can work in public or private hospitals or have private practices.
Once you have the name of an obstetrician-gynaecologist, it is a good idea to meet with them. At this appointment, you can ask about their approach and talk about delivery options and your other care preferences. Ask about their fees and what will happen if they are not available when you go into labour. This will help you decide if the obstetrician-gynaecologist is right for you.
- Diagnosis and treatment
- Specialist doctor
- Maternal health
- Medical and health check-ups
- Information and advice
- Health advice
- Health-related information
- Screening and tests
An appointment with an obstetrician or gynaecologist usually requires a referral from your doctor.
How to access
There are a number of ways you can choose an obstetrician-gynaecologist:
- Ask your for a recommendation and referral.
- Call the hospital where you would like to have your baby and ask which obstetrician-gynaecologists deliver babies there.
- Ask a friend, relative or work colleague for a recommendation.
The cost of obstetric and gynaecological services varies depending on the treatment. Contact the clinic before you attend if you are unsure of the cost.
Obstetric and gynaecological fees are covered by Medicare if you receive care in a public hospital.
Private health funds
Obstetric and gynaecological fees are covered by some private health funds but your coverage will depend on your insurance policy.
RegistrationCompulsory registration through the Medical Board of Australia
Minimum qualificationsFellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists(FRANZCOG)
- An obstetrician-gynaecologist delivers babies and looks after the health of the mother and the baby during, before and after childbirth.
- They can specialise in particular areas such as foetal medicine (looking after the unborn baby), maternal care (looking after the health of the mother) or delivery of babies.
- An obstetrician-gynaecologist can also specialise in fertility problems, colposcopy (an examination after an abnormal Cervical Screening test), infections and diseases of the reproductive organs (such as cancer or sexually transmitted diseases), contraception and menopause.