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Committee Opinion Number 661, April 2016

ABSTRACT: Immunization against vaccine-preventable diseases is an essential component of women’s primary and preventive health care. Despite the importance of vaccination and clear guidance from public health agencies, rates of vaccination lag behind national goals. Obstetrician–gynecologists can play a major role in reducing morbidity and mortality from a range of vaccine-preventable diseases, including pertussis, influenza, human papillomavirus, and hepatitis. Given demonstrated vaccine efficacy and safety, and the large potential for prevention of many infectious diseases that affect adult...


Committee Opinion Number 651, December 2015

(Replaces Committee Opinion 349, November 2006)

ABSTRACT: Despite variations worldwide and within the U.S. population, median age at menarche has remained relatively stable—between 12 years and 13 years—across well-nourished populations in developed countries. Environmental factors, including socioeconomic conditions, nutrition, and access to preventive health care, may influence the timing and progression of puberty. A number of medical conditions can cause abnormal uterine bleeding, characterized by unpredictable timing and variable amount of flow. Clinicians should educate girls and their caretakers (eg, parents or guardians) about what...


Committee Opinion Number 627, March 2015

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 425, January 2009)

ABSTRACT: Unauthorized (undocumented) immigrants are less likely than other residents of the United States to have health insurance. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has long supported a basic health care package for all women living within the United States without regard to their country of origin or documentation. Providing access to quality health care for unauthorized immigrants and their children, who often were born in the United States and have U.S. citizenship, is essential to improving the nation’s public health.


Committee Opinion Number 626, March 2015

ABSTRACT: Young women (aged 18–26 years) are a heterogeneous population transitioning from adolescence into adulthood who may present with unique issues and challenges, including a potential gap in health care after pediatric health care. Obstetrician–gynecologists should note that these patients may need assistance in transitioning from a pediatrician to a provider of adult health care (an internist, family practitioner, or obstetrician–gynecologist), especially in the absence of a parent. Preventive counseling is crucial for helping young women anticipate changes and stressors and for easin...


Committee Opinion Number 625, March 2015

ABSTRACT: Women with dense breasts have a modestly increased risk of breast cancer and experience reduced sensitivity of mammography to detect breast cancer. However, evidence is lacking to advocate for additional testing until there are clinically validated data that indicate improved screening outcomes. Currently, screening mammography remains the most useful tool for breast cancer detection and consistently has demonstrated a reduction in breast cancer mortality. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists does not recommend routine use of alternative or adjunctive tests to scr...


Committee Opinion Number 603, June 2014

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is a condition of involuntary loss of urine on effort, physical exertion, sneezing, or coughing that is often bothersome to the patient and frequently affects quality of life. When women are evaluated for SUI, counseling about treatment should begin with conservative options. The minimum evaluation before primary midurethral sling surgery in women with symptoms of SUI includes the following six steps: 1) history, 2) urinalysis, 3) physical examination, 4) demonstration of stress incontinence, 5) assessment of urethral mobility, and 6) measurement of...


Committee Opinion Number 600, June 2014

(Reaffirmed 2017)

ABSTRACT: Rates of obesity in the United States have increased rapidly over the past several decades, and physicians should be prepared to care for obese patients in a nonjudgmental manner, being cognizant of the medical, social, and ethical implications of obesity. It is the responsibility of the physician to recognize the medical risks that are associated with obesity and to counsel the patient regarding these risks in an unbiased manner, respecting her autonomy and maintaining her dignity. Classifying obesity as a medical condition can serve to reduce bias toward obese patients and to chan...


Committee Opinion Number 598, May 2014

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 460, July 2010, Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: The initial visit for screening and the provision of reproductive preventive health care services and guidance should take place between the ages of 13 years and 15 years. The initial reproductive health visit provides an excellent opportunity for the obstetrician–gynecologist to start a patient–physician relationship, build trust, and counsel patients and parents regarding healthy behavior while dispelling myths and fears. The scope of the initial reproductive health visit will depend on the individual’s need, medical history, physical and emotional development, and the level of ca...


Committee Opinion Number 596, May 2014

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 411, August 2008) (Reaffirmed 2016)

Abstract: Early diagnosis and treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can improve survival and reduce morbidity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that females aged 13–64 years be tested at least once in their lifetime and annually thereafter based on factors related to risk. In addition, obstetrician–gynecologists should annually review patients’ risk factors for HIV and assess the need for retesting. The opportunity for repeat testing should be made available to all women even in the absence of identi...


Committee Opinion Number 595, May 2014

(Reaffirmed 2016)

Abstract: Preexposure prophylaxis is defined as the administration of antiretroviral medications to individuals who are not infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and are at the highest risk of acquiring HIV infection. In combination with other proven HIV-prevention methods, preexposure prophylaxis may be a useful tool for women at the highest risk of HIV acquisition. Obstetrician–gynecologists involved in the care of women using preexposure prophylaxis must reinforce adherence to daily medication. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance for preexposure prophylaxis...


11.
April 2014

Committee Opinion Number 592, April 2014

(Reaffirmed 2016. Replaces Committee Opinion Number 499, August 2011)

ABSTRACT: Reproductive-aged victims of sexual assault are at risk of unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and mental health conditions, including posttraumatic stress disorder. Health care providers should screen routinely for a history of sexual assault and offer victims both emergency contraception and sexually transmitted infection prophylaxis. The health care provider who examines victims of sexual assault has a responsibility to comply with state and local statutory or policy requirements for the use of evidence-gathering kits.


Committee Opinion Number 591, March 2014

(Reaffirmed 2016. Replaces Committee Opinion Number 470, October 2010)

ABSTRACT: Overweight and obesity are epidemic in the United States. Obesity is a risk factor for numerous conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, stroke, heart disease, certain types of cancer, and arthritis. The prevalence of obesity is high, exceeding 30% in adult women and men. Many women, irrespective of demographic characteristics or income, are vulnerable to becoming overweight or obese because of limited resources for physical activity and healthy food choices, work commitments, and family demands. Clinicians and public health officials should address not only i...


Committee Opinion Number 590, March 2014

(Reaffirmed 2016. Replaces Committee Opinion Number 487, April 2011)

ABSTRACT: Patient care emergencies may occur at any time in any setting, particularly the inpatient setting. It is important that obstetrician–gynecologists prepare themselves by assessing potential emergencies, establishing early warning systems, designating specialized first responders, conducting emergency drills, and debriefing staff after actual events to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement. Having such systems in place may reduce or prevent the severity of medical emergencies.


Committee Opinion Number 576, October 2013

(Replaces No. 454, February 2010, Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Homelessness continues to be a significant problem in the United States. Women and families represent the fastest growing segment of the homeless population. Health care for these women is a challenge but an important issue that needs to be addressed. Homeless women are at higher risk of injury and illness and are less likely to obtain needed health care than women who are not homeless. It is essential to undertake efforts to prevent homelessness, to expand community-based services for the homeless, and to provide adequate health care for this underserved population. Health care pro...


Committee Opinion Number 574, September 2013

(Replaces No. 428, February 2009)

ABSTRACT: Same-sex couples encounter barriers to health care that include concerns about confidentiality and disclosure, stigma and discriminatory attitudes and treatment, limited access to health care and health insurance, and often a limited understanding of their health risks. Same-sex couples and their families are adversely affected by the lack of legal recognition of their relationships, a problem with major implications for the health of same-sex couples and their families. Tangible harm has come from the lack of financial and health care protections granted to legal spouses, and child...


Committee Opinion Number 569, August 2013

(Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: Oral health is an important component of general health and should be maintained during pregnancy and through a woman’s lifespan. Maintaining good oral health may have a positive effect on cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other disorders. In 2007–2009, 35% of U.S. women reported that they did not have a dental visit within the past year and 56% of women did not visit a dentist during pregnancy. Access to dental care is directly related to income level; the poorest women are least likely to have received dental care. Optimal maternal oral hygiene during the perinatal period may ...


Committee Opinion Number 568, July 2013

(Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: Elder abuse, a violation of human rights, is defined as a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate actions, which causes harm, risk of harm, or distress to an individual 60 years or older. As many as 1 in 10 older adults have been victims of elder abuse. Most cases of abuse occur in women. The U.S. Census predicts that by 2030, the segment of the population that is older than 65 years will reach an estimated 72 million. Categories of elder abuse include physical, psychological, emotional, or sexual abuse; neglect; abandonment; and financial exploitation. Screening, education, ...


Committee Opinion Number 567, July 2013

(Replaces No. 408, June 2008, Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: Fellows of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists may choose to limit the scope of their practices to gynecology and, accordingly, may choose not to carry professional liability coverage for obstetrics. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists considers early pregnancy care to be within the scope of gynecology and gynecologic practice. Liability insurers that provide coverage for gynecology-only practices should provide coverage for clinical practice activities that involve the management of first-trimester and early second-trimester pregnancy and its...


Committee Opinion Number 537, October 2012

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: The reprocessing and reuse of single-use instruments has become increasingly common. Although there are limited data on reprocessed single-use devices, existing studies have found a significant rate of physical defects, performance issues, or improper decontamination. There are currently no data in the medical literature of studies evaluating the cost-effectiveness of reprocessed single-use devices in gynecologic surgery. The use of a reprocessed single-use device provides no direct benefit to an individual patient or her physician. It is the operating surgeon’s ethical responsibili...


20.
August 2012

Committee Opinion Number 534, August 2012

(Reaffirmed 2016)

Abstract: The annual health assessment (“annual examination”) is a fundamental part of medical care and is valuable in promoting prevention practices, recognizing risk factors for disease, identifying medical problems, and establishing the clinician–patient relationship. The annual health assessment should include screening, evaluation and counseling, and immunizations based on age and risk factors. The interval for specific individual services and the scope of services provided may vary in different ambulatory care settings. The performance of a physical examination is a key part of an annua...


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