In some countries, women must first see a general practitioner (GP; also known as a family practitioner (FP)) prior to seeing a gynaecologist. If their condition requires training, knowledge, surgical procedure, or equipment unavailable to the GP, the patient is then referred to a gynecologist. As in all of medicine, the main tools of diagnosis are clinical history and examination. Gynecological examination is quite intimate, more so than a routine physical exam. As with all surgical specialties, gynecologists may employ medical or surgical therapies, depending on the exact nature of the problem that they are treating. Pre and post-operative medical management will often employ many standard drug therapies, such as antibiotics, diuretics, antihypertensives, and antiemetics.
Additionally, gynecologists make frequent use of specialized hormone-modulating therapies to treat disorders of the female genital tract that are responsive to pituitary and/or gonadal signals.