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*Editors' Note: As of January 2017, the Monthly Women's Health Research Review has been discontinued. Below are archived articles for your reference.

Survey: Many N.Y. Hospitals, Community Health Centers Lack Structured STI Management Plans

September 25, 2014

New York health department researchers surveyed hospitals and community health centers in the state to determine where care for sexually transmitted infections most commonly occurred in the facilities and whether they had a dedicated staff member or unit to coordinate STI clinical services and management. They found that "STI care is often scattered across facilities" -- most commonly occurring in the emergency department or ob-gyn clinic -- and that only 30% of facilities "had an organization-wide process for monitoring the quality of STI care."

Individual Needs, Not Peer Opinions, Motivate Contraceptive Choices for Adolescents, Young Adults

September 25, 2014

Abstract: Through qualitative interviews with adolescent and young adult women visiting a Title X family planning clinic, researchers from the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine identified and evaluated influences on interviewees' decision-making processes for choosing a new contraceptive method. They found that "participants felt that while they valued input from peers and providers, their decision-making was autonomous and derived from their own reasons for choosing a method that best fits their needs."

Ob-Gyns Need Formal Training on Environmental Health, Experts Argue

September 25, 2014

Writing in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, experts in maternal, children's and environmental health argue that while ob-gyns "are well-positioned to provide guidance" to patients on environmental health issues and help reduce maternal and fetal exposure to environmental hazards, they receive "limited" medical education on the topic. The authors report on several initial recommendations from a workgroup of ob-gyn medical program faculty and residents on how to establish formal training for ob-gyns on environmental health.

'Scholarly Concentrations' at Med Schools Nurture Development of 'Future Leaders' in Reproductive Health

September 25, 2014

Researchers from Brown University examined how completion of a "scholarly concentration" (SC) in reproductive health care during medical school affects students' career decisions and interests in the field. Overall, students reported that the program reinforced their interest in reproductive health and provided them with a nurturing support system of peers and faculty mentors, while also strengthening their knowledge and research skills. The SC "model holds promise for producing future leaders in the field," the researchers concluded.

Many CPC Websites in State Directories Include Inaccurate Information About Abortion

September 25, 2014

Although abortion "is a safe medical procedure and is less risky than carrying a pregnancy to term," many crisis pregnancy center websites overstate its risks or include other misleading claims, according to researchers from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. The researchers examined the websites of CPCs listed in state-mandated directories that are given to women seeking abortions, finding that 87% of the sites did not disclose that the centers are not medical facilities and that 80% contained false or misleading medical information.

Analysis Tracks Declines in Abortion Availability, Rates After Implementation of Texas' HB 2

September 25, 2014

The Texas Policy Evaluation Project's Daniel Grossman and colleagues set out to examine how an omnibus antiabortion-rights law in Texas (HB 2) has affected abortion services in the state. They found that the number of facilities providing abortions in Texas decreased from 41 in May 2013 to 22 in November 2013, after most of the law's provisions took effect. Further, the number of medical abortions decreased by 70%, while the total statewide abortion rate decreased by 13%.

Study Assesses Impact of Gestational Age Limits, Cost, Harassment on Abortion Access

July 31, 2014

Researchers from the Guttmacher Institute examined how three factors that affect abortion access -- gestational age limits, levels of harassment and cost of services -- changed from 2008 to 2012. They found there was little change in each factor but noted several variations by region and facility type. They also warned that additional abortion restrictions enacted since the study period could further restrict abortion availability.

Survey: Ob-Gyns Wrongly Think Pelvic Exams are Needed Before Prescribing Hormonal Contraception

July 31, 2014

Researchers from the University of California-San Francisco surveyed ob-gyns about their beliefs on the importance of pelvic exams for patients seeking hormonal contraception. Although clinical guidelines advise that ob-gyns do not need to perform pelvic exams before prescribing hormonal contraception to asymptomatic women, prior surveys suggest many ob-gyns still conduct such exams. In the new survey, most respondents felt the exams "are of some importance," which "may continue to pose a barrier to contraception provision," the researchers wrote.

No-Cost Access to LARC Tied to Rapid Decline in Births Among Young, Low-Income Women

July 31, 2014

Researchers examined the effects of a program that provided no-cost access to intrauterine devices and implants for low-income women at Title X-funded clinics in Colorado beginning in 2009. Use of the methods among women ages 15 to 24 at the clinics increased sharply by 2011, coinciding with declines in fertility rates, high-risk births, abortion rates, and infant enrollment in the state's Women, Infants and Children program, the researchers found.

Addressing Gender-Based Violence in Conflict Requires Focus on Prevention

July 31, 2014

Writing in The Lancet as stakeholders gathered for the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict last month, experts from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine called for prevention measures that "challenge legal, economic, and social structures that uphold and foster gender inequality."

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