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Committee Opinion Number 530, July 2012

(Reaffirmed 2018)

ABSTRACT: Postpartum tubal sterilization is one of the safest and most effective methods of contraception. Women who desire this type of sterilization typically undergo thorough counseling and informed consent during prenatal care and reiterate their desire for postpartum sterilization at the time of their hospital admission. Not all women who desire postpartum sterilization actually undergo the surgical procedure, and women with unfulfilled requests for postpartum sterilization have a high rate of repeat pregnancy (approaching 50%) within the following year. Potentially correctable barriers ...


Committee Opinion Number 278, November 2002

Reaffirmed 2019

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 686, January 2017

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 662, May 2016, Reaffirmed 2019)

ABSTRACT: The obstetrician–gynecologist may receive requests from adolescents and their families for advice, surgery, or referral for conditions of the breast or vulva to improve appearance and function. Appropriate counseling and guidance of adolescents with these concerns require a comprehensive and thoughtful approach, special knowledge of normal physical and psychosocial growth and development, and assessment of the physical maturity and emotional readiness of the patient. Individuals should be screened for body dysmorphic disorder. If the obstetrician–gynecologist suspects an adolescent ...


Committee Opinion Number 685, January 2017

Reaffirmed 2019

ABSTRACT: Gender nonconforming youth are an underserved population who obstetrician–gynecologists are seeing increasingly in their practices. Currently, there are large gaps in training, knowledge, and comfort with transgender patients among obstetrician–gynecologists. The purpose of this document is to review current recommendations that apply to an obstetrician–gynecologist. It is important for obstetrician–gynecologists to be aware of the social and mental health risks for the transgender population. Consensus guidelines support initiating medical therapy after an adolescent has an establi...


Committee Opinion Number 624, February 2015

Reaffirmed 2019

ABSTRACT: Cytology-based cervical cancer screening programs require a number of elements to be successful. Certain low-resource settings, like the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands, lack these elements. Implementing alternative cervical cancer screening strategies in low-resource settings can provide consistent, accessible screening opportunities.


Committee Opinion Number 761, January 2019

(Replaces Committee Opinion No. 559, April 2013)

ABSTRACT: The incidence of cesarean delivery on maternal request and its contribution to the overall increase in the cesarean delivery rate are not well known, but it is estimated that 2.5% of all births in the United States are cesarean delivery on maternal request. Cesarean delivery on maternal request is not a well-recognized clinical entity. The available information that compared the risks and benefits of cesarean delivery on maternal request and planned vaginal delivery does not provide the basis for a recommendation for either mode of delivery. When a woman desires a cesarean delivery ...


Committee Opinion Number 701, June 2017

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 444, November 2009)

ABSTRACT: Hysterectomy is one of the most frequently performed surgical procedures in the United States. Selection of the route of hysterectomy for benign causes can be influenced by the size and shape of the vagina and uterus; accessibility to the uterus; extent of extrauterine disease; the need for concurrent procedures; surgeon training and experience; average case volume; available hospital technology, devices, and support; whether the case is emergent or scheduled; and preference of the informed patient. Vaginal and laparoscopic procedures are considered “minimally invasive” surgical app...


Committee Opinion Number 610, October 2014

(Reaffirmed 2019)

ABSTRACT: Surgery can present a management dilemma for gynecologists whose patients receive chronic antithrombotic therapy because the risk of hemorrhagic complications must be balanced against the risk of thromboembolic complications. Interruption of antithrombotic therapy to reduce perioperative bleeding poses a significant risk of recurrent thromboembolic events. Patients who receive chronic antithrombotic therapy should be seen at least 7 days before a planned procedure, and each woman should be included in decision making regarding risks and benefits specific to her situation. The schedu...


Committee Opinion Number 792, September 2019

(Replaces Committee Opinion 629, April 2015)

ABSTRACT: Protocols and checklists have been shown to reduce patient harm through improved standardization and communication. Implementation of protocols and guidelines often is delayed because of lack of health care provider awareness or difficult clinical algorithms in medical institutions. However, the use of checklists and protocols clearly has been demonstrated to improve outcomes and their use is strongly encouraged. Checklists and protocols should be incorporated into systems as a way to help practitioners provide the best evidence-based care to their patients.


Committee Opinion Number 780, June 2019

ABSTRACT: At puberty, a patient with an imperforate hymen typically presents with a vaginal bulge of thin hymenal tissue with a dark or bluish hue caused by the hematocolpos behind it. Other findings that may be present include an abdominal mass, urinary retention, dysuria, constipation, and dyschezia. On evaluation, the goal is to differentiate an imperforate hymen from other obstructing anatomic etiologies, such as labial adhesions, urogenital sinus, transverse vaginal septum, or distal vaginal atresia. Surgical intervention is necessary only in symptomatic prepubertal patients. After confi...


Committee Opinion Number 323, November 2005

(Replaces No. 164, December 1995) (Reaffirmed 2019)

ABSTRACT: Because of a lack of evidence from randomized trials, it remains unclear whether the benefits of routine elective coincidental appendectomy outweigh the cost and risk of morbidity associated with this prophylactic procedure. Because the risk–benefit analysis varies according to patient age and history, the decision to perform an elective coincidental appendectomy at the time of an unrelated gynecologic surgical procedure should be based on individual clinical scenarios and patient characteristics and preferences.


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 759, November 2018

(Replaces Committee Opinion No. 466, September 2010)

ABSTRACT: Global surgical care programs present obstetrician–gynecologists with important opportunities to address disparities in women’s health and health care worldwide. However, these programs also present a unique set of practical and ethical challenges. Obstetrician–gynecologists are encouraged to participate in surgical care efforts abroad while taking the necessary steps to ensure that their patients can make informed decisions and receive benefit from and are not harmed by their surgical care. In this document, the Committee on Ethics highlights some of the ethical issues that may ari...


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 619, January 2015

(Reaffirmed 2019)

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 512, December 2011

(Reaffirmed 2019)

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 781, June 2019

ABSTRACT: Infertility, defined as failure to achieve pregnancy within 12 months of unprotected intercourse or therapeutic donor insemination in women younger than 35 years or within 6 months in women older than 35 years, affects up to 15% of couples. An infertility evaluation may be offered to any patient who by definition has infertility or is at high risk of infertility. Women older than 35 years should receive an expedited evaluation and undergo treatment after 6 months of failed attempts to become pregnant or earlier, if clinically indicated. In women older than 40 years, more immediate e...


Committee Opinion Number 557, April 2013

(Reaffirmed 2019)

ABSTRACT: Initial evaluation of the patient with acute abnormal uterine bleeding should include a prompt assessment for signs of hypovolemia and potential hemodynamic instability. After initial assessment and stabilization, the etiologies of acute abnormal uterine bleeding should be classified using the PALM–COEIN system. Medical management should be the initial treatment for most patients, if clinically appropriate. Options include intravenous conjugated equine estrogen, multi-dose regimens of combined oral contraceptives or oral progestins, and tranexamic acid. Decisions should be based on ...


Committee Opinion Number 779, June 2019

ABSTRACT: Obstructive uterovaginal anomalies may present after puberty with amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, pelvic pain, recurrent vaginal discharge, or infertility. The evaluation of a patient with a suspected obstructive reproductive anomaly should include a detailed medical history, physical examination, and imaging. The genital examination is critical to differentiate a patient with an imperforate hymen from a patient with labial adhesions, urogenital sinus, transverse vaginal septum, or distal vaginal atresia. Pelvic ultrasonography is the initial imaging method recommended for a patient with ...


Committee Opinion Number 694, April 2017

ABSTRACT: This document focuses on the management of complications related to mesh used to correct stress urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse. Persistent vaginal bleeding, vaginal discharge, or recurrent urinary tract infections after mesh placement should prompt an examination and possible further evaluation for exposure or erosion. A careful history and physical examination is essential in the diagnosis of mesh and graft complications. A clear understanding of the location and extent of mesh placement, as well as the patient’s symptoms and therapy goals, are necessary to plan trea...


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