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Committee Opinion Number 674, September 2016

ABSTRACT: New or emerging surgical procedures and technologies continue to be developed at a rapid rate and must be implemented safely into clinical practice. Additional privileging may be required if substantively new technical or cognitive skills are required to implement an innovative procedure or technology. Guiding principles for privileging should include cognitive and technical assessment to ensure appropriate patient selection and performance of the new procedure. Implementation also should include pertinent institutional and staff support as needed. A dynamic process for assessment a...


Committee Opinion Number 607, August 2014

ABSTRACT: Advancements in radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, and multimodal treatment have dramatically improved childhood cancer survival. However, cancer and its treatment may have immediate or delayed adverse effects on reproductive health. Gynecologists should be prepared to manage gynecologic concerns in young cancer patients and survivors before, during, and after their treatment. Gynecologists may be consulted regarding pubertal concerns; heavy menstrual bleeding and anemia; sexuality; contraception; ovarian function, including fertility preservation; and breast and cervical can...


Committee Opinion Number 619, January 2015

ABSTRACT: Obesity is a serious problem worldwide and particularly in the United States, and in women is associated with an increased risk of death and morbid conditions (including hypertension, diabetes mellitus, obstructive sleep apnea, and hypercholesterolemia) as well as malignancies such as endometrial and postmenopausal breast cancer. Adverse effects after gynecologic surgery, such as surgical site infection, venous thromboembolism, and wound complications, are more prevalent in obese women than in normal-weight women. Preoperative consultation with an anesthesiologist should be consider...


Committee Opinion Number 516, January 2012

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Underserved women are those who are unable to obtain quality health care by virtue of barriers created by poverty, cultural differences, race or ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other factors that contribute to health care inequities. With passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Public Law 111–148 and 152, there is promise for increased health insurance coverage for underserved women. There is concern, however, that specific populations of underserved women may be left out. These women must continue to have access to existing safety net...


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 525, May 2012

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Lesbians and bisexual women encounter barriers to health care that include concerns about confidentiality and disclosure, discriminatory attitudes and treatment, limited access to health care and health insurance, and often a limited understanding as to what their health risks may be. Health care providers should offer quality care to all women regardless of sexual orientation. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists endorses equitable treatment for lesbians and bisexual women and their families, not only for direct health care needs, but also for indirect health car...


Committee Opinion Number 511, November 2011

Reaffirmed 2016

ABSTRACT: Clinicians who provide care for incarcerated women should be aware of the special health care needs of pregnant incarcerated women and the specific issues related to the use of restraints during pregnancy and the postpartum period. The use of restraints on pregnant incarcerated women and adolescents may not only compromise health care but is demeaning and rarely necessary.


Committee Opinion Number 512, December 2011

ABSTRACT: Transgender individuals face harassment, discrimination, and rejection within our society. Lack of awareness, knowledge, and sensitivity in health care communities eventually leads to inadequate access to, underutilization of, and disparities within the health care system for this population. Although the care for these patients is often managed by a specialty team, obstetrician–gynecologists should be prepared to assist or refer transgender individuals with routine treatment and screening as well as hormonal and surgical therapies. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecolo...


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 515, January 2012

(Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: Sixty percent of American Indian and Alaska Native women live in metropolitan areas. Most are not eligible for health care provided by the federal Indian Health Service (IHS). The IHS partly funds 34 Urban Indian Health Organizations, which vary in size and services. Some are small informational and referral sites that are limited even in the scope of outpatient services provided. Compared with other urban populations, urban American Indian and Alaska Native women have higher rates of teenaged pregnancy, late or no prenatal care, and alcohol and tobacco use in pregnancy. Their infan...


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...


Committee Opinion Number 586, February 2014

(Reaffirmed 2016. Replaces Committee Opinion Number 429, March 2009)

ABSTRACT: Rural women experience poorer health outcomes and have less access to health care than urban women. Many rural areas have limited numbers of health care providers, especially women’s health providers. Rural America is heterogeneous where problems vary depending on the region and state. Health care professionals should be aware of this issue and advocate for reducing health disparities in rural women.


Committee Opinion Number 676, October 2016

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 585, February 2014)

ABSTRACT: Health literacy is defined as the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand the basic health information and services they need to make appropriate health decisions. Multiple factors affect a patient’s understanding of health information, including cultural factors, a physician’s health knowledge and communication skills, the demands of the situation, the environment in which the health information is being conveyed, and time constraints. The responsibility for recognizing and addressing the problem of limited health literacy lies with all enti...


Committee Opinion Number 655, February 2016

ABSTRACT: To prevent transmission of bloodborne pathogens, it is important that health care providers adhere to standard precautions, follow fundamental infection-control principles, and use appropriate procedural techniques. All obstetrician–gynecologists who provide clinical care should receive the hepatitis B virus vaccine series. The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America has established guidelines for the management of health care providers who are infected with hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The guidelines categorize representative o...


Committee Opinion Number 634, June 2015

ABSTRACT: A hereditary cancer syndrome is a genetic predisposition to certain types of cancer, often with onset at an early age, caused by inherited mutations in one or more genes. Cases of cancer commonly encountered by obstetrician–gynecologists or other obstetric–gynecologic providers—such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometrial cancer—are features of specific hereditary cancer syndromes. The most common hereditary cancer syndromes related to gynecologic cancer include hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome, Lynch syndrome, Li–Fraumeni syndrome, Cowden syndrome...


Committee Opinion Number 565, June 2013

(Replaces No. 420, November 2008, Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: Menopausal hormone therapy should not be used for the primary or secondary prevention of coronary heart disease at the present time. Evidence is insufficient to conclude that long-term estrogen therapy or hormone therapy use improves cardiovascular outcomes. Nevertheless, recent evidence suggests that women in early menopause who are in good cardiovascular health are at low risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes and should be considered candidates for the use of estrogen therapy or conjugated equine estrogen plus a progestin for relief of menopausal symptoms. There is some evidence...


Committee Opinion Number 698, May 2017

ABSTRACT: Primary ovarian insufficiency describes a spectrum of declining ovarian function and reduced fecundity due to a premature decrease in initial follicle number, an increase in follicle destruction, or poor follicular response to gonadotropins. The sequelae of primary ovarian insufficiency include vasomotor symptoms, urogenital atrophy, osteoporosis and fracture, cardiovascular disease, and increased all-cause mortality. In women with primary ovarian insufficiency, systemic hormone therapy (HT) is an effective approach to treat the symptoms of hypoestrogenism and mitigate long-term hea...


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 667, July 2016

ABSTRACT: Emergency departments typically have structured triage guidelines for health care providers encountering the diverse cases that may present to their units. Such guidelines aid in determining which patients must be evaluated promptly and which may wait safely, and aid in determining anticipated use of resources. Although labor and delivery units frequently serve as emergency units for pregnant women, the appropriate structure, location, timing, and timeliness for hospital-based triage evaluations of obstetric patients are not always clear. Hospital-based obstetric units are urged to ...


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December 2007

Committee Opinion Number 389, December 2007

(Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: Because human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection often is detected through prenatal and sexually transmitted disease testing, an obstetrician–gynecologist may be the first health professional to provide care for a woman infected with HIV. Universal testing with patient notification and right of refusal ("opt-out" testing) is recommended by most national organizations and federal agencies. Although opt-out and "opt-in" testing (but not mandatory testing) are both ethically acceptable, the former approach may identify more women who are eligible for therapy and may have public hea...


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