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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 664, June 2016

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 321, November 2005)

ABSTRACT: One of the most challenging scenarios in obstetric care occurs when a pregnant patient refuses recommended medical treatment that aims to support her well-being, her fetus’s well-being, or both. In such circumstances, the obstetrician–gynecologist’s ethical obligation to safeguard the pregnant woman’s autonomy may conflict with the ethical desire to optimize the health of the fetus. Forced compliance—the alternative to respecting a patient’s refusal of treatment—raises profoundly important issues about patient rights, respect for autonomy, violations of bodily integrity, power diffe...


Committee Opinion Number 724, November 2017

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 409, June 2008;
Committee Opinion Number 488, May 2011;
and Committee Opinion Number 527, June 2012)

ABSTRACT: With the increased emphasis on patient-driven health care and readily available access to patients through the internet and media, many genetic testing companies have begun to market directly to consumers. Direct-to-consumer genetic testing raises unique concerns and considerations, including limited knowledge among patients and health care providers of available genetic tests, difficulty in interpretation of genetic test results, lack of oversight of companies that offer genetic testing, and issues of privacy and confidentiality. When undergoing any direct-to-consumer genetic testi...


Committee Opinion Number 691, March 2017

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 318, October 2005;
Committee Opinion Number 432, May 2009;
Committee Opinion Number 442, October 2009;
Committee Opinion Number 469, October 2010;
Committee Opinion Number 486, April 2011)

ABSTRACT: Carrier screening is a term used to describe genetic testing that is performed on an individual who does not have any overt phenotype for a genetic disorder but may have one variant allele within a gene(s) associated with a diagnosis. Information about carrier screening should be provided to every pregnant woman. Carrier screening and counseling ideally should be performed before pregnancy because this enables couples to learn about their reproductive risk and consider the most complete range of reproductive options. A patient may decline any or all screening. When an individual is ...


Committee Opinion Number 690, March 2017

ABSTRACT: Carrier screening, whether targeted or expanded, allows individuals to consider their range of reproductive options. Ultimately, the goal of genetic screening is to provide individuals with meaningful information that they can use to guide pregnancy planning based on their personal values. Ethnic-specific, panethnic, and expanded carrier screening are acceptable strategies for prepregnancy and prenatal carrier screening. Because all of these are acceptable strategies, each obstetrician–gynecologist or other health care provider or practice should establish a standard approach that i...


Committee Opinion Number 640, September 2015

(This Committee Opinion Replaces Committee Opinion Number 545) (Reaffirmed 2017)

ABSTRACT: Noninvasive prenatal screening that uses cell-free DNA from the plasma of pregnant women offers tremendous potential as a screening method for fetal aneuploidy. A number of laboratories have validated different techniques for the use of cell-free DNA as a screening test for fetal aneuploidy. All tests have a high sensitivity and specificity for trisomy 18 and trisomy 21, regardless of which molecular technique is used. Women whose results are not reported, indeterminate, or uninterpretable (a “no call” test result) from cell-free DNA screening should receive further genetic counseli...


Committee Opinion Number 693, April 2017

ABSTRACT: Given the increasing availability and complexity of genetic testing, it is imperative that the practicing obstetrician–gynecologist or other health care provider has a firm comprehension of the benefits, limitations, and risks of offering a specific genetic test, as well as the importance of appropriate pretest and posttest counseling. The purpose of this Committee Opinion is to provide an outline of how obstetrician–gynecologists and other health care providers can best incorporate these tests into their current practices and provide appropriate pretest and posttest counseling to p...


Committee Opinion Number 478, March 2011

(Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: Family history plays a critical role in assessing the risk of inherited medical conditions and single gene disorders. Several methods have been established to obtain family medical histories, including the family history questionnaire or checklist and the pedigree. The screening tool selected should be tailored to the practice setting and patient population. It is recommended that all women receive a family history evaluation as a screening tool for inherited risk. Family history information should be reviewed and updated regularly, especially when there are significant changes to f...


Committee Opinion Number 643, October 2015

Reaffirmed 2017

ABSTRACT: Advances in the understanding of genetic conditions, reproductive technologies, and improved medical and surgical care have enabled an increasing number of women with genetic conditions to achieve a normal pregnancy outcome. However, management of certain genetic conditions during pregnancy is complex and may require a multidisciplinary approach from preconception through the postpartum period. Patients with certain genetic conditions, or those at risk of having a particular genetic condition, should have a preconception evaluation with their obstetrician–gynecologists, genetics spe...


Committee Opinion Number 636, June 2015

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 449, December 2009) Reaffirmed 2017

ABSTRACT: Phenylketonuria (PKU) is an autosomal recessive disorder of phenylalanine (Phe) metabolism characterized by deficient activity of the hepatic enzyme, phenylalanine hydroxylase. Increased blood Phe levels are toxic to a variety of tissues, particularly the developing fetal brain. The mainstay of treatment for PKU is the dietary restriction of Phe, which results in decreased blood Phe levels. Lifelong dietary restriction and therapy improves quality of life in patients with PKU and should be encouraged. Genetic counseling is recommended for all reproductive-aged women with PKU, and sh...


Committee Opinion Number 682, December 2016

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 581, December 2013)

ABSTRACT: Genetic technology has advanced dramatically in the past few decades, and its applications and use in caring for and counseling pregnant women has been transformational in the realm of prenatal diagnosis. Two of the newer genetic technologies in the prenatal setting are chromosomal microarray and whole-exome sequencing. Chromosomal microarray analysis is a method of measuring gains and losses of DNA throughout the human genome. It can identify chromosomal aneuploidy and other large changes in the structure of chromosomes as well as submicroscopic abnormalities that are too small to ...


12.
December 2015

Committee Opinion Number 648, December 2015

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 399, February 2008) (Reaffirmed 2018)

ABSTRACT: Once considered a waste product that was discarded with the placenta, umbilical cord blood is now known to contain potentially life-saving hematopoietic stem cells. When used in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, umbilical cord blood offers several distinct advantages over bone marrow or peripheral stem cells. However, umbilical cord blood collection is not part of routine obstetric care and is not medically indicated. Umbilical cord blood collection should not compromise obstetric or neonatal care or alter routine practice for the timing of umbilical cord clamping. If a patie...


Committee Opinion Number 660, March 2016

(Replaces Committee Opinion No. 397, February 2008)

ABSTRACT: Gestational surrogacy is an increasingly common form of family building that can allow individuals or a couple to become parents despite circumstances in which carrying a pregnancy is biologically impossible or medically contraindicated. The practice of gestational surrogacy involves a woman known as a gestational carrier who agrees to bear a genetically unrelated child with the help of assisted reproductive technologies for an individual or couple who intend(s) to be the legal and rearing parent(s), referred to as the intended parent(s). Obstetrician–gynecologists may become involv...


14.
September 2017

Committee Opinion Number 719, September 2017

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 553, February 2013)

ABSTRACT: Although not all multifetal pregnancies occur after the use of assisted reproductive technology, fertility treatments have contributed significantly to the increase in multifetal pregnancies. In almost all cases, it is preferable to avoid the risk of higher-order multifetal pregnancy by limiting the number of embryos to be transferred or by cancelling a gonadotropin cycle when the ovarian response suggests a high risk of a multifetal pregnancy. When multifetal pregnancies do occur, incorporating the ethical framework presented in this Committee Opinion will help obstetrician–gynecol...


Committee Opinion Number 661, April 2016

(Reaffirmed 2018)

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 645, November 2015

(Reaffirmed 2018)

ABSTRACT: Gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported bacterial sexually transmitted disease in the United States, with an estimated 820,000 new Neisseria gonorrhoeae infections occurring each year. Antimicrobial resistance limits treatment success, heightens the risk of complications, and may facilitate the transmission of sexually transmitted infections. Neisseria gonorrhoeae has developed resistance to the sulfonamides, the tetracyclines, and penicillin. Dual therapy with ceftriaxone and azithromycin remains the only recommended first-line regimen for the treatment of gonorrhea in the U...


Committee Opinion Number 278, November 2002

Reaffirmed 2017

ABSTRACT: Clinically significant false-positive human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) test results are rare. However, some individuals have circulating factors in their serum (eg, heterophilic antibodies or nonactive forms of hCG) that interact with the hCG antibody and cause unusual or unexpected test results. False-positive and false-negative test results can occur with any specimen, and caution should be exercised when clinical findings and laboratory results are discordant. Methods to rule out the presence of interfering substances include using a urine test, rerunning the assay with serial ...


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 571, September 2013

(Reaffirmed 2018)

ABSTRACT: Currently, only povidone-iodine preparations are approved for vaginal surgical-site antisepsis. However, there are compelling reasons to consider chlorhexidine gluconate solutions for off-label use in surgical preparation of the vagina, especially in women with allergies to iodine. Although chlorhexidine gluconate solutions with high concentrations of alcohol are contraindicated for surgical preparation of the vagina, solutions with low concentrations of alcohol (eg, 4%) are both safe and effective for off-label use as vaginal surgical preparations and may be used as an alternative ...


Committee Opinion Number 313, September 2005

Reaffirmed 2017

ABSTRACT: The goal of preconception care is to reduce the risk of adverse health effects for the woman, fetus, or neonate by optimizing the woman's health and knowledge before planning and conceiving a pregnancy. Because reproductive capacity spans almost four decades for most women, optimizing women's health before and between pregnancies is an ongoing process that requires access to and the full participation of all segments of the health care system.


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