Within obstetrics, most of the care of low risk mothers and uncomplicated deliveries are performed by midwives with the supervision of of a senior consultant obstetrician.

About 35% of births are undertaken by an obstetrician, usually for more complex cases or if the baby becomes distressed during labour.

  • using instruments to assist delivery – including forceps or a ventouse (vacuum-assisted delivery)
  • performing caesarean sections, either as a planned or emergency procedure


Within gynaecology procedures include:

  • carrying out surgical interventions following miscarriage
  • treating abnormal bleeding and polyps
  • major surgery for gynaecological cancers
  • minimal access surgery for problems including endometriosis

Keyhole or minimal access surgery is now commonplace and has many advantages.

Associated sub-specialties

Sub-specialties include:

  • maternal and fetal medicine
  • gynaecological oncology
  • urogynaecology
  • reproductive medicine
  • sexual and reproductive healthcare

Assisted reproduction (fertility treatment) has helped many thousands of women have a family, which would not have been possible in the last generation.