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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 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 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 582, December 2013

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 417, September 2008. Reaffirmed 2018)

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 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 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 626, March 2015

Reaffirmed 2017

ABSTRACT: Young women (aged 18–26 years) are a heterogeneous population transitioning from adolescence into adulthood who may present with unique issues and challenges, including a potential gap in health care after pediatric health care. Obstetrician–gynecologists should note that these patients may need assistance in transitioning from a pediatrician to a provider of adult health care (an internist, family practitioner, or obstetrician–gynecologist), especially in the absence of a parent. Preventive counseling is crucial for helping young women anticipate changes and stressors and for easin...


8.
September 2017

Committee Opinion Number 714, September 2017

ABSTRACT: Rates of obesity among adolescents in the United States have increased at a dramatic rate along with the prevalence of weight-related diseases. Between the 1980s and 2014, the prevalence of obesity among adolescent females in the United States increased from approximately 10% to 21%. Although the steep increase in the prevalence of obesity in children (2–11 years) has slowed, the prevalence of obesity in adolescents (12–19 years) continues to increase. Because the obese female adolescent faces medical, psychologic, and reproductive health challenges, early intervention is imperative...


9.
June 2017

Committee Opinion Number 702, June 2017

ABSTRACT: The female athlete triad is a medical condition observed in physically active females involving three components: 1) low energy availability with or without disordered eating, 2) menstrual dysfunction, and 3) low bone density. An individual does not need to show clinical manifestations of all three components of the female athlete triad simultaneously to be affected by the condition. Consequences of these clinical conditions may not be completely reversible, so prevention, early diagnosis, and intervention are critical. All athletes are at risk of the female athlete triad, regardles...


Committee Opinion Number 710, August 2017

ABSTRACT: Modern contraceptives are very effective when used correctly and, thus, effective counseling regarding contraceptive options and provision of resources to increase access are key components of adolescent health care. Regardless of a patient’s age or previous sexual activity, the obstetrician–gynecologist routinely should address her contraceptive needs, expectations, and concerns. Obstetrician–gynecologists should be aware of and be prepared to address the most common misperceptions about contraceptive methods in a way that is age appropriate and compatible with the patient’s health...


Committee Opinion Number 704, June 2017

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 641, September 2015)

ABSTRACT: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is associated with anogenital cancer (including cervical, vaginal, vulvar, penile, and anal), oropharyngeal cancer, and genital warts. The HPV vaccination significantly reduces the incidence of anogenital cancer and genital warts. Despite the benefits of HPV vaccines, only 41.9% of girls in the recommended age group, and only 28.1% of males in the recommended age group have received all recommended doses. Compared with many other countries, HPV vaccination rates in the United States are unacceptably low. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved t...


Committee Opinion Number 705, July 2017

ABSTRACT: Mental health disorders in adolescence are a significant problem, relatively common, and amenable to treatment or intervention. Obstetrician–gynecologists who see adolescent patients are highly likely to see adolescents and young women who have one or more mental health disorders. Some of these disorders may interfere with a patient’s ability to understand or articulate her health concerns and appropriately adhere to recommended treatment. Some disorders or their treatments will affect the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis, causing anovulatory cycles and various menstrual disturba...


Committee Opinion Number 740, June 2018

ABSTRACT: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, defines eating disorders as a “persistent disturbance of eating or eating-related behavior that results in the altered consumption or absorption of food and that significantly impairs physical health or psychosocial functioning.” The correct diagnosis of and distinction between eating disorders are important because the course, prognosis, and treatment may be vastly different. Although the age at peak incidence can vary depending on the eating disorder, these disorders commonly arise during adolescence. Adult ...


Committee Opinion Number 605, July 2014

(Reaffirmed 2018)

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...


Committee Opinion Number 735, May 2018

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 539, October 2012)

ABSTRACT: The phenomenon of adolescent childbearing is complex and far reaching, affecting not only the adolescents but also their children and their community. The prevalence and public health effect of adolescent pregnancy reflect complex structural social problems and an unmet need for acceptable and effective contraceptive methods in this population. In2006–2010, 82% of adolescents at risk of unintended pregnancy were currently using contraception, but only 59% used a highly effective method, including any hormonal method or intrauterine device. Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC...


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 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 602, June 2014

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 415, September 2008) (Reaffirmed 2017)

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 653, February 2016

(Reaffirmed 2018)

ABSTRACT: Although there are many positive aspects of social media for adolescents and young adults, there are also risks. Adolescence is a time of significant developmental changes, during which adolescents exhibit a limited capacity for self-regulation and an increased risk of susceptibility to peer pressure and experimentation. Social media can be harmful, and obstetrician–gynecologists may screen their adolescent and young adult patients for high-risk sexual behaviors, especially if sexualized text communication (sexting), exposure to pornography, online dating, or other risk-taking behav...


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...


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