Whether your primary care provider (PCP) is a family medicine physician, a nurse practitioner, or physician assistant, they understand and monitor your entire health picture. From regular physical exams and preventive screenings, to caring for you during pregnancy and illness, your PCP gets to know you well and helps assure you get the care you need, when you need it.
Family Medicine and Pregnancy
Family medicine is deeply rooted—both in training and in philosophy—in caring for the entire family at every stage of life. Many primary care providers are trained to provide pregnancy care, including preconception counseling and prenatal care for women at low risk for complications. A low-risk pregnancy means the mother’s overall health, lifestyle, and age align with guidelines established by respected organizations like the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Most pregnancies are in fact, considered low-risk.
Some family medicine doctors still deliver babies. When you partner with your PCP throughout pregnancy and delivery, you receive care from a trusted provider who can continue to care for you and your baby after delivery.
Trained in Women’s Health
Women’s health is a major area of focus in all primary care medical education. PCPs routinely address a variety of health concerns specific to women including urinary tract infections, yeast infections, birth control, sexually transmitted infections and menstrual disorders. They can also manage routine preventive care such as Pap tests to check for cervical cancer and mammograms to screen for breast cancer.
When to See an OB-GYN
Although your PCP can address many women’s health needs, there are times they may refer you to an obstetrician-gynecologist. OB-GYNs have specialized training in high-risk pregnancies and can perform surgeries, like hysterectomy and tubal ligation.
While seeing an OB-GYN is sometimes very appropriate due to their specialized training, your PCP can often provide the care you need.