Gynecology as a branch of medicine dates back to Greco-Roman civilization, if not earlier.
In the early and midth century, physicians became able to successfully perform a limited variety of surgical operations on the ovaries and uterus. The American surgeon James Marion Sims and other pioneers of operative gynecology also had to combat the violent prejudice of the public against any exposure or examination of the female sexual organs.
The two great advances that finally overcame such opposition and made gynecologic surgery generally available were the use of anesthesia and antiseptic methods. The separate specialty of gynecology had become fairly well established by ; its union with the specialty of obstetrics, arising from an overlap of natural concerns, began late in the century and has continued to the present day.
Gynecologists make routine examinations of cervical and vaginal secretions to detect cancer of the uterus and cervix. They perform two main types of surgical operations: repairing any significant injuries caused to the vagina, uterus, and bladder in the course of childbirth; and removing cysts and benign or malignant tumours from the uterus, cervix, and ovaries.
The modern practice of gynecology requires skill in pelvic surgery, a knowledge of female urologic conditions, because the symptoms of diseases of the urinary tract and the genital tract are often similar, and skill in dealing with the minor psychiatric problems that often arise among gynecologic patients. Obstetrics and gynecology. Article Media. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback.
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