ACOG in the News: Do Women Need Periods, No Bright Side to Sexual Violence Against Women, and Highlights of ACOG’s 64th Annual Meeting

ACOG serves as an expert information source about women’s health for consumers and the media. The organization’s Office of Communications regularly receives media inquiries from newspapers, magazines, websites, radio, and TV broadcast outlets. In many cases, ACOG officers and members talk with the media, working with the Office of Communications. Here are several recent articles that prominently featured ACOG guidance and experts. We’ve included excerpts and links to the original articles.

NPR Do Women Need Periods?

Two top medical organizations — the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics — recommend these forms of contraception as the top choice for young women who want birth control. One study found the IUD and implant were nearly 20 times more effective at preventing pregnancies than birth control pills.

MedPage Today ACOG to Obstetricians: Respect Women's Choice —  Woman, not fetus, is the primary patient

Pregnant women have the right to refuse treatment and obstetricians should respect that right, even if the lack of treatment could potentially harm her or her fetus, said a committee opinion from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

While the ob/gyn may feel compelled to try to balance a pregnant woman's autonomy with an ethical desire to optimize the health of the fetus, the woman is the primary patient of the ob/gyn, and the patient has the right to refuse any medical or surgical interventions, reported the Committee on Ethics, writing in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Healio ACOG leads effort with ACP, AAFP to update Women's Preventive Service Guidelines

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has partnered with several health organizations to develop new recommendations for women's preventive health care, according to a press release from the organization.

With a focus of advancing the well-being of women in the United States, ACOG, along with the American College of Physicians (ACP), American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health (NPWH), will update the Women's Preventive Service Guidelines. The organizations will also be joined by a multidisciplinary work group of women's health experts.

“[ACOG] is working with the best of the best in women’s health care to build upon and update the Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines," Jeanne Conry, MD, PhD, ACOG past president, said in the release. "We look forward to our continued work with the coalition to ensure women in our country are offered the best preventive care at a low cost.”

Ob.Gyn. News VIDEO: SCOTUS decision sends contraception mandate to lower courts

Dr. Mark S. DeFrancesco, ACOG president, expressed the college’s disappointment in the Supreme Court’s decision.

“ACOG strongly believes that contraception is an essential part of women’s preventive care, and that any accommodation to employers’ beliefs must not impose barriers to women’s ability to access contraception,” Dr. DeFrancesco said in a statement. “We encourage the lower courts to adopt a solution that ensures that coverage is provided seamlessly ‘through petitioner’s insurance companies.’”

The Detroit News Get government out of the doctor’s office

Over the past several years, the officers and advisory council of the Michigan Section of American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have been faced with a barrage of legislation that only serves to disrupt the physician-patient relationship and has no medical foundation.

Ob.Gyn News Point/Counterpoint: Do pharmacist-prescribing laws provide adequate access to contraception?

Pharmacist-prescribed contraception laws are an opportunity to safely and easily improve access to contraception for women. While over-the-counter access remains an important goal, there are many practical considerations that must be addressed prior to implementation.

For example, in order to change the status of a medication to OTC, each product’s manufacturer needs to apply to the Food and Drug Administration for the change. This application includes studies that demonstrate their product can be safely used by the general public, without guidance from a health professional. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has already weighed in on the overall safety of oral contraceptives, and some studies have been done that show women can accurately complete a health questionnaire related to their OC eligibility. While these are good steps toward demonstrating safe use, they do not satisfy FDA requirements for OTC status. These initial studies never went to the next step of having women interpret the questions in an “actual use study,” an FDA requirement.

St. Louis Dispatch No bright side to sexual violence against women

As members of the Missouri House debated HJR 98 last week — a bill that would create a ballot initiative to assign fetuses full personhood — we’ve heard some of the most harmful rhetoric about women and rape that we have heard since Todd Akin’s run for Senate.

As practicing obstetrician-gynecologists, and representatives of the Missouri section of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, we feel compelled to speak out about such language. Regardless of personal feeling about abortion, we hope that everyone could agree that violence against women is unacceptable.

Annual Meeting Highlights

Contemporary OB/GYN Highlights of ACOG’s 64th annual meeting

Sharon T. Phelan, MD, this year’s chair of the Committee on Scientific Program and a board member of Contemporary OB/GYN, explains: “The ACOG Scientific Program Committee is transforming the annual clinical meeting by having more relevant science with hundreds of posters presented as well as oral presentations. Acknowledging the adult learning styles of practicing physicians, we have venues that use hands-on teaching, flip classroom [interactive, comprehensive learning/retention], and debates on current controversies as well as didactic sessions. There are sessions that will help practitioners meet various state and ABOG criteria for maintenance of certification. To keep providers current on new developments in the field, presidents of our leading partner organizations will address late breaking news in Cutting-Edge Topics sessions and a special presentation on Zika.”

Buzzfeed U.S. Zika Tests “Unacceptably” Backlogged

Linked to severe brain birth defects in up to 29% of cases in pregnant women, Zika virus has now spread to 37 countries and territories in the Americas. At an American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) colloquium on Zika in Washington D.C. over the weekend, doctors complained of long test result waits to tell pregnant patients — ones who face agonizing decisions about continuing a risky pregnancy — whether they had the virus.

HealthDay Many Fertility Apps, Websites Miss the Mark

"I'd recommend that consumers be cautious, and not completely rely on these sites and apps," said lead researcher Dr. Robert Setton. He is an obstetrics and gynecology resident at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical College, in New York City.

Setton was to present the findings Sunday at the annual meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, in Washington, D.C. Such research is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

MedPage Today No Medical Basis for TRAPping Physicians —Study: laws restricting abortion providers harm women's health

So-called Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider (TRAP) laws that restrict clinics providing abortions lack medical necessity or any substantive evidence basis, according to a medical/legal review of these laws presented here.

The mortality risk of induced abortion at any gestational age is 0.7 per 100,000 procedures and is even lower when it occurs during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy (0.1 per 100,000), said Diane J. Horvath-Cosper, MD, of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, at a press briefing at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists annual meeting.

Ob.Gyn. News VIDEO: What’s the role for flibanserin in sex dysfunction treatment?

At the annual meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, physicians debated the merits of flibanserin as a treatment option and whether the condition of hypoactive sexual desire disorder has been needlessly medicalized.

Dr. Holly L. Thacker, director of the Center for Specialized Women’s Health at the Cleveland Clinic, is supportive of the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the drug and prescribes it in her own practice. She said it’s not effective for all women in treating low sexual desire. However, for women who do respond to the drug, it makes a significant difference in their quality of life, she said.

Side effects, which include syncope, have been overstated, Dr. Thacker added. “It’s very similar, if not lower in side effects, than other [central nervous system] drugs,” she said in a video interview.

But Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, an associate professor at Georgetown University in Washington, said in an interview that while low libido is a real and distressing problem for women and their partners, flibanserin is not a good treatment option, adding that its greatest effect is as a sedative. She said low libido is frequently a side effect of taking other medications, such as antidepressants, or results from stress, relationship problems, or boredom. Pyschosexual counseling and medication adjustment is often a better alternative, she said.


Medscape Breast Cancer Research Stamp Funded $90 Million in Projects

"This is the only stamp I'm aware of that literally saves lives," said Balazs Bodai, MD, from the University of California, Davis, in Sacramento, who engaged in a one-man lobbying campaign to create the stamp.

He recounted the history of that effort and gave an overview of some of the projects that have received money from the stamp here at the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists 2016 Annual Clinical Meeting.

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
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Mailing Address: PO Box 96920, Washington, DC 20024-9998