Breaking Down Common Misconceptions About Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Fair Oaks OBGYN is a leading provider of obstetric and gynecologic care in the Northern Virginia area. As a healthcare practice that specializes in women’s health, we often encounter common misconceptions about obstetricians and gynecologists. In this article, we will break down some of the most prevalent myths and provide accurate information to help you better understand these medical professionals.

Myth #1: Obstetricians and gynecologists are the same thing.

While obstetricians and gynecologists often work together and have some overlapping areas of expertise, they are not the same thing. Obstetricians specialize in caring for women during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. Gynecologists, on the other hand, focus on the health of the female reproductive system outside of pregnancy. This includes preventative care, diagnosis and treatment of conditions such as endometriosis and PCOS, and management of menopause.

Myth #2: Only women need to see an obstetrician or gynecologist.

While it is true that obstetricians and gynecologists specialize in women’s health, that doesn’t mean that only women need to see them. Men can also benefit from seeing a gynecologist if they have concerns about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or need to be screened for HPV-related cancers. In addition, obstetricians provide care not only to pregnant women, but also to their partners during the fertility process.

Myth #3: Pap tests are painful and uncomfortable.

Pap tests are a routine part of gynecologic care that screens for abnormal cells in the cervix, which can be a sign of cancer or pre-cancerous changes. While some women may experience some mild discomfort during a Pap test, it should not be painful. In fact, many women describe it as only slightly uncomfortable. It is important to remember that Pap tests are a crucial part of preventative care and can help detect cervical cancer early when it is most treatable.

Myth #4: Obstetricians only deliver babies.

While delivering babies is a big part of an obstetrician’s job, it is not the only thing they do. Obstetricians also provide care to women during pregnancy, including monitoring the health of the mother and baby, managing high-risk pregnancies, and providing prenatal care. In addition, obstetricians are trained to handle any complications that may arise during the delivery process.

Myth #5: Gynecologic care is only necessary for women who are sexually active.

Gynecologic care is important for all women, regardless of whether or not they are sexually active. Regular check-ups with a gynecologist can help detect and prevent a variety of health issues, including STIs, cervical cancer, and pelvic inflammatory disease. In addition, gynecologists can provide guidance on contraception and family planning.


Understanding the role of obstetricians and gynecologists is important for maintaining good health. By debunking these common misconceptions, we hope to encourage both men and women to seek the care they need from these medical professionals. At Fair Oaks OBGYN, we are committed to providing the highest quality of care to our patients and helping them lead healthy lives.