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Committee Opinion Number 410, June 2008

(Reaffirmed 2014)

ABSTRACT: Genetic testing is poised to play an increasing role in the practice of obstetrics and gynecology. To assure patients of the highest quality of care, physicians should become familiar with the currently available array of genetic tests and the tests' limitations. Clinicians should be able to identify patients within their practices who are candidates for genetic testing. Candidates will include patients who are pregnant or considering pregnancy and are at risk for giving birth to affected children as well as gynecology patients who, for example, may have or be predisposed to certain...


2.
January 2015

Committee Opinion Number 617, January 2015

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 403, April 2008)

ABSTRACT: Obstetrician–gynecologists care for women throughout their lifespans and are in an ideal position to have ongoing discussions with healthy patients about their values and wishes regarding future care and to encourage them to complete an advance directive for health care. In addition, situations may arise in which obstetrician–gynecologists need to participate in end-of-life care. When end-of-life decisions need to be made while a woman is pregnant, the level of ethical complexity often is increased. The purpose of this Committee Opinion is to discuss ethical issues related to end-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 578, November 2013

(Reaffirmed 2016. Replaces No. 395, January 2008)

ABSTRACT: Acknowledgment of the importance of patient autonomy and increased patient access to information, such as information on the Internet, has prompted more patient-generated requests for surgical interventions not traditionally recommended. Depending on the context, acceding to a request for a surgical option that is not traditionally recommended can be ethical. Decisions about acceding to patient requests for nontraditional surgical interventions should be based on strong support for patients’ informed preferences and values; understood in the context of an interpretive conversation; ...


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...


6.
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...


Committee Opinion Number 466, September 2010

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: International humanitarian medical efforts provide essential services to patients who would not otherwise have access to specific health care services. The Committees on Ethics and Global Women's Health of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists encourage College Fellows and other health care professionals to participate in international humanitarian medical efforts for this reason. However, such programs present Fellows with a unique set of practical and ethical challenges. It is important for health care providers to consider these challenges before participating i...


Committee Opinion Number 385, November 2007

Reaffirmed 2016

ABSTRACT: Health care providers occasionally may find that providing indicated, even standard, care would present for them a personal moral problem—a conflict of conscience—particularly in the field of reproductive medicine. Although respect for conscience is important, conscientious refusals should be limited if they constitute an imposition of religious or moral beliefs on patients, negatively affect a patient's health, are based on scientific misinformation, or create or reinforce racial or socioeconomic inequalities. Conscientious refusals that conflict with patient well-being should be a...


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...


10.
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 695, April 2017

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 371, July 2007)

ABSTRACT: Sterilization is the most common method of contraception among married couples, with nearly twice as many couples choosing female partner sterilization over male sterilization. Although sterilization is among the most straightforward surgical procedures an obstetrician–gynecologist performs, it is enormously complex when considered from a historical, sociological, or ethical perspective. Sterilization practices have embodied a problematic tension, in which some women who desired fertility were sterilized without their knowledge or consent, and other women who wanted sterilization to...


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 580, December 2013

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 451, December 2009) (Reaffirmed 2017)

ABSTRACT: Von Willebrand disease, the most common inherited bleeding disorder among American women, is a common cause of heavy menstrual bleeding and other bleeding problems in women and adolescent girls. Von Willebrand disease and other inherited and acquired disorders of coagulation and hemostasis should be considered in the differential diagnosis of all patients being evaluated for heavy menstrual bleeding, regardless of age. There are many treatment options available for patients with von Willebrand disease and heavy menstrual bleeding, including hormonal and nonhormonal therapies. A mult...


Committee Opinion Number 668, August 2016

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 448, December 2009)

ABSTRACT: For an adolescent with physical disabilities, intellectual disabilities, or both, and for her caregivers, menstruation can present significant challenges. If, after an evaluation, the adolescent, her family, and the obstetrician–gynecologist have decided that menstrual intervention is warranted, advantages and disadvantages of hormonal methods should be reviewed and individualized to each patient’s specific needs. Complete amenorrhea may be difficult to achieve, and realistic expectations should be addressed with the patient and her caregivers. The goal in menstrual manipulation sho...


Committee Opinion Number 602, June 2014

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 415, September 2008) (Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) is a highly effective injectable contraceptive that affords privacy and has a convenient dose schedule of four times per year, making it appealing to many users, especially adolescents. Although the use of DMPA is associated with loss of bone mineral density (BMD), current longitudinal and cross-sectional evidence suggests that recovery of BMD occurs after discontinuation of DMPA. No high-quality data answer the important clinical question of whether DMPA affects fracture risk in adolescents or adults later in life. The effect of DMPA on BMD ...


Committee Opinion Number 607, August 2014

Reaffirmed 2017

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 606, August 2014

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Adolescents undergoing cancer treatment are at high risk of heavy menstrual bleeding, and gynecologists may be consulted either before the initiation of cancer treatment to request strategies for menstrual suppression or during an episode of severe heavy bleeding to stop the bleeding emergently. Therapy in both situations should be tailored to the patient, her cancer diagnosis and treatment plan, and her desires for contraception and fertility. Options for menstrual suppression include combined hormonal contraceptives, progestin-only therapy, and gonadotropin-releasing hormone agoni...


Committee Opinion Number 582, December 2013

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 417, September 2008) (Reaffirmed 2017)

ABSTRACT: Noncoital sexual behavior is a common expression of human sexuality, which commonly co-occurs with coital behavior. Sexually transmitted infections, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), herpes simplex virus, human papillomavirus, hepatitis virus (types A, B, and C), syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydial infection, can be transmitted through noncoital sexual activity. When engaging in oral and anal sex, most individuals, including adolescents, are unlikely to use barrier protection for a variety of reasons, including a greater perceived safety of noncoital sexual activity comp...


Committee Opinion Number 678, November 2016

ABSTRACT: Current sexuality education programs vary widely in the accuracy of content, emphasis, and effectiveness. Data have shown that not all programs are equally effective for all ages, races and ethnicities, socioeconomic groups, and geographic areas. Studies have demonstrated that comprehensive sexuality education programs reduce the rates of sexual activity, sexual risk behaviors (eg, number of partners and unprotected intercourse), sexually transmitted infections, and adolescent pregnancy. One key component of an effective program is encouraging community-centered efforts. In addition...


Committee Opinion Number 605, July 2014

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Primary ovarian insufficiency is the depletion or dysfunction of ovarian follicles with cessation of menses before age 40 years. There is no consensus on criteria to identify primary ovarian insufficiency in adolescents, and delay in diagnosis is common. Health care providers who make this clinical diagnosis should be mindful of the sensitive nature of this medical condition. Patients and their families should be counseled on the effect of the patient’s condition on future fertility, on the risk of comorbidities associated with primary ovarian insufficiency, and on the condition’s p...


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