Medical Monday: Weekly News Update in Obstetrics and Gynecology 

The Republican dominated House voted to defund Planned Parenthood last Friday the 19th. About a week later, the Senate rejected the same bill by a vote of 52 to 47. It turns out defunding Planned Parenthood would have allowed lawmakers to come in on budget and avoid a government shutdown on October1st. Both sides of the aisle are woking on plans to keep the government going after October 1st. I will say this: that meeting budget and funding Planned Parenthood are really two separate issues and should be treated as such. It is not as though Planned Parenthood is the ONLY straw that could have broken this camel’s back. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held a public hearing this week about the relatively new method of sterilization called Essure. This procedure involves the insertion of small coils into the inner aspect of the the Fallopian tubes as they open into the uterine cavity. Is is an office procedure without incisions, which is its appeal. However there are now 5k plus reports of complications associated with the device and more pregnancies than were intially advertised. A panel of experts criticized both the maker, Bayer Health Care Pharmaceuticals, and the FDA, in the handling of device’s testing.  A long running social media campaign has influenced the convening of this hearing. 

Long acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) like IUDs ( intrauterine devices) have been found to be 20 times more effective at preventing pregnancy that all other contraceptive methods. In more good news, almost everyone, even childless women and women with medical conditions, are eligible to use them. Their use is up in the last few years from 1.3% to 7.2 %. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that they be first-line contraceptives for sexually active teens.

Most women know there is a vaccine available to prevent cervical dysplasia and cancer. But now a clinical trial from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has shown effectiveness in a new genetically engineered vaccine to ERADICATE existing high grade precancerous cervical lesions in half of the test subjects. Wow, fantastic ! 

Stay tuned for more news from the wild world of Ob/Gyn in next’s week Medical Monday.