All of my life up until this year, I’ve always thought that OBGYN or OB & GYN are the same.
As someone who is infertile, my menstrual cycle had not been normal. This year, I started to bleed excessively during my monthly cycle. Blood clots/clumps as huge as my palm made me take a double look; I even thought it may be a foetus.
I went into the A&E of a woman’s hospital back in June because Wan & I were afraid I might had a loss of too much blood. Earlier this month, when I had bad cramps and bleeding clots again, I went into the polyclinic instead. I asked the doctor to refer me to another hospital where they can help me figure out what is wrong.
Of 1 hospital, he said, “Oh they have OB but not GYN. I’ll refer you to the other one where they specialise on both OB & GYN.”
OB = obstetrician
GYN = gynaecologist
I’m almost 39 and I didn’t know that a gynae/GYN specialises in all things women’s health, and an OB is required for pregnancy matters.
When I did a poll on my Instagram story, only 25% knew there’s a difference between an OB & GYN; and they are either nurses or working in the healthcare industry.
I feel this is a serious gap in our healthcare education for women. Maybe it’s an Asian thing, where it’s a taboo topic. But I feel that if we had seen a gynae during puberty, we would learn of our changing bodies better. And perhaps understood our health issues in a more comprehensive way.
For most of us, we only knew of our fertility issues after we got married and had to try harder than others to conceive.
Also, when I was at the hospital a few days ago, in the OB&GNY clinic, I witnessed something unsettling. At the registration counter, the staff asked every lady, “Are you here with your husband?”
What if the lady has other gynaecology issues that is not at all obstetrical? What if she’s a single lady?
The unsettling matter is that it’s become a stereotype that any woman who walks into a women’s clinic, she has to be either married or pregnant!
It’s 2020. Shouldn’t we make our healthcare education for ladies better already?