Comprehensive, Collaborative Women’s Health Care

February 29, 2024  By: Women's Health Team

A doctor examining a woman

Content medically reviewed by Stefanie Gefroh Ellison, MD and Patricia Segler, MD

As a woman, your health needs change throughout your life. You deserve a health provider who's ready to meet your changing needs. Fortunately, Essentia Health provides women's health care options to meet your needs and preferences at every age and stage of life.

Family Medicine Physician (With OB Training)

Family medicine physicians care for people of all ages. They are primary care physicians who care for all sorts of health needs, from physical exams and vaccinations to general health care issues.

Did you know family medicine physicians provide female-specific care? These physicians can guide you through pregnancy, deliver your new little one, and care for both of you afterward.

An OB-trained family medicine physician can meet all your women’s health care needs. Conveniently, the whole family can also see that same physician.

OB/GYNs—Female-Specific Health Care

Obstetricians (OBs) and gynecologists (GYNs) both specialize in women’s health care. However, they have different areas of expertise.

For the most part, OBs focus on care surrounding pregnancy and birth. They provide prenatal care, track your soon-to-be-born child, and help you welcome your little one into the world. They also work with maternal fetal medicine specialists if you need advanced care during a high-risk pregnancy.

GYNs typically provide services for women's reproductive and sexual health, including gynecologic surgery.

A few additional reasons to seek care from a gynecologist include:

  • Endometriosis symptoms.
  • Heavy periods or unexpected vaginal bleeding.
  • Incontinence issues.
  • Pap tests and other female-specific health screenings.
  • Sexual health issues.
  • Vaginal prolapse.
  • Yeast infections.

Some physicians provide both obstetric and gynecologic care. These physicians are referred to as OB/GYNs, who provide pregnancy and delivery care, chronic disease management, pelvic exams, and more.

Certified Nurse-Midwives

Certified nurse-midwives are advanced practitioners who provide holistic care for women at every stage of life. In addition to routine pregnancy and birthing care, certified nurse-midwives care for mom and baby after labor and delivery. They also provide primary and reproductive health care for women of all ages.

Thanks to an extensive midwifery education program, certified nurse-midwives care for many health conditions, including:

  • Fetal alcohol syndrome.
  • High blood pressure during pregnancy.
  • Hormonal imbalance.
  • Migraine.
  • Miscarriage.
  • Vaginal infection or bleeding.

Collaborative Women's Health Care

When choosing your women's health care team, you deserve options. Essentia gives them to you.

Whether you want your care handled by a single provider or prefer the care of two or more providers, Essentia makes it easy to get the care you need. Our providers work with one another to ensure a smooth and efficient experience for you. Plus, certified nurse-midwives, family practitioners and OB/GYNs have overlapping areas of expertise and can provide many of the same services.

Essentia also has several clinics, hospitals, and birthing centers across Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin so you don't have to travel far for comprehensive women’s care.

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