How to choose an OBGYN that's right for you

Finding an OB/GYN Who’s Right for You

It’s important to find an OB/GYN who fits both your current and future needs. You want a doctor you feel comfortable with — someone who takes care of you and listens. Finding an OB/GYN is essential but choosing one can feel overwhelming.

Here are some tips to help you select an OB/GYN who is right for you.

Factors to Consider When Finding an OB/GYN

  • First, determine whether you specifically need an obstetrician, a gynecologist, or both (an OB/GYN). An obstetrician specializes in all stages of pregnancy. A gynecologist, on the other hand, specializes in all aspects of women’s health.
  • Women who neither are pregnant nor plan to have children should decide how to choose a gynecologist. However, women who are currently pregnant or planning to become pregnant will want to find out how to choose an obstetrician. As OB/GYNs, many doctors specialize in both areas, but be sure to double-check before making an appointment.
  • After you choose a hospital or clinic, select a doctor who is covered under your current health insurance plan. If they have a bio online with more information, examine their credentials, history, and specialties. Do you have a health condition that requires you to see an OB/GYN who specializes in higher-risk patients? Before making an appointment, make sure the doctor can fulfill your health care needs. Ask yourself if you need to choose a doctor who offers specialized care, such as that for infertility, endometriosis, or pelvic pain. Most women do not need to see a specialist for routine care.
  • Next, pick a hospital or clinic to visit. You can browse their specialties and services online and may want to visit the doctor’s office in person. Many women find it helpful to ask a knowledgeable family member or friend for recommendations.

Before Your First Appointment

How to choose a gynecologist

Make a list of questions that you would like the OB/GYN to answer. Some questions you might ask are:

  • What are your specialties?
  • How long have you been practicing?
  • Who will I see at my follow-up appointments?
  • How do you approach women’s health care?

How to choose an obstetrician

If you are currently pregnant or plan to become pregnant, you might have additional questions, such as:

  • How long have you been in practice?
  • What is your policy on patients writing their own birth plans?
  • Under what conditions would you induce labor?
  • At which hospitals does your practice deliver?
  • Does the practice offer midwifery care?

Questions to Ask After Your First Appointment

After you’ve had your first appointment with an OB/GYN, reflect on your experience. Did you feel heard and valued? Were your needs met and questions answered? If you have a high-risk medical condition, is the doctor able to treat you accordingly? If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, it sounds like you’ve found an OB/GYN who is right for you.

If not, there’s no harm in making an appointment with a different gynecologist, obstetrician, or OB/GYN. You should feel comfortable discussing women’s health issues with your doctor.

For more information about how to choose an obstetrician, gynecologist, or OB/GYN, visit UPMC Magee-Women’s Hospital or call 1-866-696-2433.