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Committee Opinion Number 599, May 2014

(Reaffirmed 2018)

ABSTRACT: Confidentiality concerns are heightened during adolescence, and these concerns can be a critical barrier to adolescents in receiving appropriate health care. Health care providers caring for minors should be aware of federal and state laws that affect confidentiality. State statutes on the rights of minors to consent to health care services vary by state, and health care providers should be familiar with the regulations that apply to their practice. Parents and adolescents should be informed, both separately and together, that the information each of them shares with the health care...


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 591, March 2014

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 470, October 2010). (Reaffirmed 2018)

ABSTRACT: Overweight and obesity are epidemic in the United States. Obesity is a risk factor for numerous conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, stroke, heart disease, certain types of cancer, and arthritis. The prevalence of obesity is high, exceeding 30% in adult women and men. Many women, irrespective of demographic characteristics or income, are vulnerable to becoming overweight or obese because of limited resources for physical activity and healthy food choices, work commitments, and family demands. Clinicians and public health officials should address not only i...


Committee Opinion Number 437, July 2009

(Reaffirmed 2018)

Abstract: As professional and community leaders, obstetrician–gynecologists have unlimited opportunities to become involved in and have a positive impact on local, national, and international communities and organizations. Volunteering outside of daily work routines often revitalizes a commitment to medicine while serving as a much needed resource to the community.


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 587, February 2014

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 492, May 2011) (Reaffirmed 2018)

ABSTRACT: Physicians’ ability to effectively and compassionately communicate information is key to a successful patient–physician relationship. The current health care environment demands increasing clinical productivity and affords less time with each patient, which can impede effective patient–physician communication. The use of patient-centered interviewing, caring communication skills, and shared decision making improves patient–physician communication. Involving advanced practice nurses or physician assistants may improve the patient’s experience and understanding of her visit. Electroni...


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 763, January 2019

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 600, June 2014)

ABSTRACT: Obesity is a medical condition that may be associated with bias among health care professionals, and this bias may result in disrespectful or inadequate care of patients with obesity. Obstetrician–gynecologists regularly care for patients with obesity and play an integral role in advocating for best practices in health care and optimizing health outcomes for patients with obesity. Obstetrician–gynecologists should be prepared to care for their patients with obesity in a nonjudgmental manner, being cognizant of the medical and societal implications of obesity. This Committee Opinion ...


Committee Opinion Number 575, October 2013

(Reaffirmed 2018)

ABSTRACT: Reducing exposure to toxic environmental agents is a critical area of intervention for obstetricians, gynecologists, and other reproductive health care professionals. Patient exposure to toxic environmental chemicals and other stressors is ubiquitous, and preconception and prenatal exposure to toxic environmental agents can have a profound and lasting effect on reproductive health across the life course. Prenatal exposure to certain chemicals has been documented to increase the risk of cancer in childhood; adult male exposure to pesticides is linked to altered semen quality, sterili...


Committee Opinion Number 456, March 2010

(Reaffirmed 2017)

ABSTRACT: In this Committee Opinion, the Committee on Ethics of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists endorses the College's ongoing efforts to promote a just health care system, explores justifications that inform just health care, and identifies professional responsibilities to guide the College and its members in advancing the cause of health care reform.


Statement of Policy (Approved by the Executive Board July 2012), July 2012

Acknowledging the significant interplay of women's human rights with the overall health of women and society, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) ardently support efforts to improve the dignity, autonomy, rights and health of women in the United States and globally.


12.
February 2019

Statement of Policy (Approved by the Executive Board February 2014) (Reaffirmed February 2019), February 2019

The impact of gun violence on the health and safety of women is of great concern to obstetrician– gynecologists. Women disproportionately experience intimate partner violence, and the presence of firearms within those relationships is a key risk factor for intimate partner homicide. Homicide is the second leading cause of injury-related deaths among pregnant and postpartum women, and the majority of these homicides are carried out with firearms.


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 576, October 2013

(Replaces No. 454, February 2010) (Reaffirmed 2018)

ABSTRACT: Homelessness continues to be a significant problem in the United States. Women and families represent the fastest growing segment of the homeless population. Health care for these women is a challenge but an important issue that needs to be addressed. Homeless women are at higher risk of injury and illness and are less likely to obtain needed health care than women who are not homeless. It is essential to undertake efforts to prevent homelessness, to expand community-based services for the homeless, and to provide adequate health care for this underserved population. Health care pro...


Committee Opinion Number 511, November 2011

(Reaffirmed 2019)

ABSTRACT: Clinicians who provide care for incarcerated women should be aware of the special health care needs of pregnant incarcerated women and the specific issues related to the use of restraints during pregnancy and the postpartum period. The use of restraints on pregnant incarcerated women and adolescents may not only compromise health care but is demeaning and rarely necessary.


Committee Opinion Number 627, March 2015

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 425, January 2009, Reaffirmed 2019)

ABSTRACT: Unauthorized (undocumented) immigrants are less likely than other residents of the United States to have health insurance. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has long supported a basic health care package for all women living within the United States without regard to their country of origin or documentation. Providing access to quality health care for unauthorized immigrants and their children, who often were born in the United States and have U.S. citizenship, is essential to improving the nation’s public health.


Committee Opinion Number 515, January 2012

(Reaffirmed 2018)

ABSTRACT: Sixty percent of American Indian and Alaska Native women live in metropolitan areas. Most are not eligible for health care provided by the federal Indian Health Service (IHS). The IHS partly funds 34 Urban Indian Health Organizations, which vary in size and services. Some are small informational and referral sites that are limited even in the scope of outpatient services provided. Compared with other urban populations, urban American Indian and Alaska Native women have higher rates of teenaged pregnancy, late or no prenatal care, and alcohol and tobacco use in pregnancy. Their infan...


Committee Opinion Number 586, February 2014

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 429, March 2009) (Reaffirmed 2018)

ABSTRACT: Rural women experience poorer health outcomes and have less access to health care than urban women. Many rural areas have limited numbers of health care providers, especially women’s health providers. Rural America is heterogeneous where problems vary depending on the region and state. Health care professionals should be aware of this issue and advocate for reducing health disparities in rural women.


Committee Opinion Number 676, October 2016

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 585, February 2014) (Reaffirmed 2019)

ABSTRACT: Health literacy is defined as the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand the basic health information and services they need to make appropriate health decisions. Multiple factors affect a patient’s understanding of health information, including cultural factors, a physician’s health knowledge and communication skills, the demands of the situation, the environment in which the health information is being conveyed, and time constraints. The responsibility for recognizing and addressing the problem of limited health literacy lies with all enti...


Committee Opinion Number 729, January 2018

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 493, May 2011)

ABSTRACT: Awareness of the broader contexts that influence health supports respectful, patient-centered care that incorporates lived experiences, optimizes health outcomes, improves communication, and can help reduce health and health care inequities. Although there is little doubt that genetics and lifestyle play an important role in shaping the overall health of individuals, interdisciplinary researchers have demonstrated how the conditions in the environment in which people are born, live, work, and age, play equally as important a role in shaping health outcomes. These factors, referred t...


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