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Committee Opinion Number 564, May 2013

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Because of the growing importance of infectious disease prevention in the individual patient and the larger community, it is vital that Fellows of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists be prepared to navigate the practical and ethical challenges that come with vaccination. Health care professionals have an ethical obligation to keep their patients’ best interests in mind by following evidence-based guidelines to encourage patients to be vaccinated and to be vaccinated themselves. College Fellows should counsel their patients about vaccination in an evidence-based m...


Committee Opinion Number 563, May 2013

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Pregnant women traditionally have been assigned priority in the allocation of prevention and treatment resources during outbreaks of influenza because of their increased risk of morbidity and mortality. The Committee on Ethics of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists explores ethical justifications for assigning priority for prevention and treatment resources to pregnant women during an influenza pandemic, makes recommendations to incorporate ethical issues in pandemic influenza planning concerning pregnant women, and calls for pandemic preparedness efforts to incl...


Committee Opinion Number 562, May 2013

(Replaces No. 355, December 2006, Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Müllerian agenesis occurs in 1 out of every 4,000–10,000 females. The most common presentation of müllerian agenesis is congenital absence of the vagina, uterus, or both, which also is referred to as müllerian aplasia, Mayer–Rokitansky–Küster–Hauser syndrome, or vaginal agenesis. Satisfactory vaginal creation usually can be managed nonsurgically with successive vaginal dilation; however, there are a variety of surgical options for creation of a neovagina. Regardless of the treatment option selected, patients should be thoroughly counseled and prepared psychologically before the init...


Committee Opinion Number 561, April 2013

(Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: For certain medical conditions, available data and expert opinion support optimal timing of delivery in the late-preterm or early-term period for improved neonatal and infant outcomes. However, for nonmedically indicated early-term deliveries such an improvement has not been demonstrated. Morbidity and mortality rates are greater among neonates and infants delivered during the early-term period compared with those delivered between 39 weeks and 40 weeks of gestation. Nevertheless, the rate of nonmedically indicated early-term deliveries continues to increase in the United States. Im...


Committee Opinion Number 560, April 2013

(Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: The neonatal risks of late preterm (34 0/7–36 6/7 weeks of gestation) and early-term (37 0/7–38 6/7 weeks of gestation) births are well established. However, there are a number of maternal, fetal, and placental complications in which either a late-preterm or early-term delivery is warranted. The timing of delivery in such cases must balance the maternal and newborn risks of late-preterm and early-term delivery with the risks of further continuation of pregnancy. Decisions regarding timing of delivery must be individualized. Amniocentesis for the determination of fetal lung maturity ...


Committee Opinion Number 559, April 2013

(Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: Cesarean delivery on maternal request is defined as a primary prelabor cesarean delivery on maternal request in the absence of any maternal or fetal indications. Potential risks of cesarean delivery on maternal request include a longer maternal hospital stay, an increased risk of respiratory problems for the infant, and greater complications in subsequent pregnancies, including uterine rupture, placental implantation problems, and the need for hysterectomy. Potential short-term benefits of planned cesarean delivery compared with a planned vaginal delivery (including women who give b...


Committee Opinion Number 557, April 2013

(Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: Initial evaluation of the patient with acute abnormal uterine bleeding should include a prompt assessment for signs of hypovolemia and potential hemodynamic instability. After initial assessment and stabilization, the etiologies of acute abnormal uterine bleeding should be classified using the PALM–COEIN system. Medical management should be the initial treatment for most patients, if clinically appropriate. Options include intravenous conjugated equine estrogen, multi-dose regimens of combined oral contraceptives or oral progestins, and tranexamic acid. Decisions should be based on ...


Committee Opinion Number 556, April 2013

(Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: The development of menopausal symptoms and related disorders, which lead women to seek prescriptions for postmenopausal estrogen therapy and hormone therapy, is a common reason for a patient to visit her gynecologist, but these therapies are associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism. The relative risk seems to be even greater if the treated population has preexisting risk factors for venous thromboembolism, such as obesity, immobilization, and fracture. Recent studies suggest that orally administered estrogen may exert a prothrombotic effect, whereas transdermally ...


Committee Opinion Number 555, March 2013

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Numerous occurrences in the past decade have brought the issue of disaster preparedness, and specifically hospital preparedness, to the national forefront. Much of the work in this area has focused on large hospital system preparedness for various disaster scenarios. Many unique features of the obstetric population warrant additional consideration in order to optimize the care received by expectant mothers and their fetuses or newborns in the face of future natural or biologic disasters.


Committee Opinion Number 554, February 2013

ABSTRACT: Reproductive and sexual coercion involves behavior intended to maintain power and control in a relationship related to reproductive health by someone who is, was, or wishes to be involved in an intimate or dating relationship with an adult or adolescent. This behavior includes explicit attempts to impregnate a partner against her will, control outcomes of a pregnancy, coerce a partner to have unprotected sex, and interfere with contraceptive methods. Obstetrician–gynecologists are in a unique position to address reproductive and sexual coercion and provide screening and clinical int...


111.
February 2013

Committee Opinion Number 553, February 2013

(Reaffirmed 2016. Replaces Committee Opinion Number 369, June 2007)

ABSTRACT: Fertility treatments have contributed significantly to the increase in multifetal pregnancies. The first approach to the problem of multifetal pregnancies should be prevention, and strategies to limit multifetal pregnancies, especially high-order multifetal pregnancies, should be practiced by all physicians who treat women for infertility. Incorporating the ethical frameworks presented in this Committee Opinion will help physicians counsel and guide patients when making decisions regarding multifetal pregnancy reduction. In cases of high-order multifetal pregnancies, counseling shou...


Committee Opinion Number 552, January 2013

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Many U.S. women are uninsured and face avoidable adverse obstetric and gynecologic health outcomes. The Affordable Care Act requires an expansion of Medicaid that would increase the percentage of U.S. women with health insurance, with the anticipated benefit of improved health. The 2012 Supreme Court decision allows states to opt out of Medicaid expansion. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists supports appropriate reimbursement to health care providers and the expansion of Medicaid as key strategies to improve women’s health.


Committee Opinion Number 551, January 2013

(Reaffirmed 2016. Replaces Committee Opinion Number 497, August 2011)

ABSTRACT: Obstetrician–gynecologists should recognize that being a defendant in a medical professional liability lawsuit can be one of life’s most stressful experiences. Negative emotions in response to a lawsuit are normal, and physicians may need help from family members, peers, or professionals to cope with this stress. Open communication will assist in reducing emotional isolation and self-blame. However, pertinent legal and clinical aspects of a case must be kept confidential, except for disclosure within the confines of a protected counselor–patient relationship as determined by state l...


Committee Opinion Number 550, January 2013

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Myelomeningocele, the most severe form of spina bifida, occurs in approximately 1 in 1,500 births in the United States. Fetuses in whom myelomeningocele is diagnosed typically are delivered at term and are treated in the early neonatal period. A recent randomized controlled trial found that fetal surgery for myelomeningocele improved a number of important outcomes, but also was associated with maternal and fetal risks. Maternal–fetal surgery is a major procedure for the woman and her fetus, and it has significant implications and complications that occur acutely, postoperatively, fo...


115.
January 2013

Committee Opinion Number 548, January 2013

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: The updated guidelines by the Institute of Medicine regarding gestational weight gain provide clinicians with a basis for practice. Health care providers who care for pregnant women should determine a woman’s body mass index at the initial prenatal visit and counsel her regarding the benefits of appropriate weight gain, nutrition and exercise, and, especially, the need to limit excessive weight gain to achieve best pregnancy outcomes. Individualized care and clinical judgment are necessary in the management of the overweight or obese woman who is gaining (or wishes to gain) less wei...


Committee Opinion Number 547, December 2012

Abstract: Military service is associated with unique risks to women’s reproductive health. As increasing numbers of women are serving in the military, and a greater proportion of United States Veterans are women, it is essential that obstetrician–-gynecologists are aware of and well prepared to address the unique health care needs of this demographic group. Obstetrician–-gynecologists should ask about women’s military service, know the Veteran status of their patients, and be aware of high prevalence problems (eg, posttraumatic stress disorder, intimate partner violence, and military sexual t...


117.
December 2012

Committee Opinion Number 546, December 2012

(Reaffirmed 2016. Replaces No. 461, August 2010)

ABSTRACT: An accurate and effective tracking or reminder system is useful for the modern practice of obstetrics and gynecology. Practices should not rely solely on the patient to complete all ordered studies and to follow up on health care provider recommendations. Health care providers should encourage their patients to complete studies believed essential for patient care within an acceptable time frame. Each office should establish a simple, reliable tracking and reminder system to facilitate communication, improve patient safety and quality of care, and minimize missed or delayed diagnoses.


Committee Opinion Number 544, December 2012

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Unintended pregnancy remains a major public health problem in the United States. Access and cost issues are common reasons why women either do not use contraception or have gaps in use. A potential way to improve contraceptive access and use, and possibly decrease unintended pregnancy rates, is to allow over-the-counter access to oral contraceptives (OCs). Screening for cervical cancer or sexually transmitted infections is not medically required to provide hormonal contraception. Concerns include payment for pharmacist services, payment for over-the-counter OCs by insurers, and the ...


Committee Opinion Number 542, November 2012

ABSTRACT: Emergency contraception includes contraceptive methods used to prevent pregnancy in the first few days after unprotected intercourse, sexual assault, or contraceptive failure. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first dedicated product for emergency contraception in 1998, numerous barriers to access to emergency contraception remain. The purpose of this Committee Opinion is to examine the barriers to the use of oral emergency contraception methods and to highlight the importance of increasing access.


Committee Opinion Number 541, November 2012

(Replaces No. 401, March 2008, Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (the College) has a long history of leadership in ensuring that its educational mission is evidence based and unbiased. A predecessor to this Committee Opinion was published in 1985, making the College one of the first professional associations to provide guidance on this issue. The College has continued to update the ethical guidance on physician interactions with industry periodically. Obstetrician–gynecologists’ relationships with industry should be structured in a manner that will enhance, rather than detract from, their ob...


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