3 Powerful Women in OB-GYN History

March 8, 2017

Women serve an important role in the medical community today. However, they took a long and courageous path to get there. Many women paved the way for medical advancements throughout history, but these three women were pioneers on the road to understanding and implementing female health practices.


Metrodora by KaynaWolf on DeviantArt.

Metrodora was a Greek physician from the third century and authored the oldest medical text to have been written by a woman. Her book, “On the Diseases and Cures of Women,” was used for centuries throughout ancient Greece, Rome and Medieval Europe by doctors treating women’s ailments. Containing two volumes and 63 chapters, Metrodora’s approach was influenced by Hippocrates and the Hippocratic Corpus. Through her work, she taught countless doctors about gynecological examinations done with speculums, sexually transmitted infections and other medical concepts that have become a part of modern OB-GYN techniques.

Marie Stopes

Marie Stopes

Marie Stopes was a scientific researcher who studied a variety of subjects in the early 1900s. However, her most powerful contribution to the field of OB-GYN was her book, “Wise Parenthood,” which was published in 1918. At 16 pages and free of cost,  the book was the first of its kind available to the general public that explained how contraception worked. Stopes’ simple, concise advice helped countless women worldwide control their own fertility.

In addition to her research and writing, Stopes engaged in public speaking and responded to letters from women seeking advice on marriage, sex and birth control.

Virginia Apgar

Virginia Apgar examines a newborn.

Virginia Apgar was an obstetrical anesthesiologist who also worked as a researcher. In 1953, Apgar created the Apgar score, which is used worldwide to determine the health of newborns. Apgar also was an important figure during the rubella pandemic, where she helped to prevent mothers from transmitting rubella to their children during pregnancy, and she promoted Rh testing, which identified women that were at risk for miscarriage.


Celebrate Women Today and Every Day!

Today, you can appreciate modern OB-GYN techniques at the OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch. Thanks to the innovations of these women and other pioneers in the OB-GYN field of study, we are able to provide an excellent standard of care in our office. Contact us today to learn how we can meet your needs.