a BELS-certified medical writer and editor, and an editorial consultant for Contemporary OB/GYN
The CDC has released a new analysis that may be a benchmark for women’s behavior regarding pelvic exams before ACOG made a sea change in guidance on when to perform the tests.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a new analysis that may be a benchmark for women’s behavior regarding pelvic exams before the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) made a sea change in guidance on when to perform the tests. Published in an NCHS Data Brief, the report spans a 19-year period and reveals trends in compliance with annual testing related to patient age, race, and socioeconomic status.
Published in an NCHS Data Brief, the report is based on interview data from more than 10,000 women aged 15 to 44 in the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG). The NSFG is a nationally representative survey of US men and women aged 15 to 44 designed to gather data on fertility, cohabitation, marriage, divorce, infertility, use of contraception and general and reproductive health.
The authors looked at trends overall and by age from 1988 to 2017 in receipt of pelvic exams in the past year and differences by Hispanic origin and race, education, poverty status, and health insurance status for 2015 to 2017. Percentages were compared using two-tailed ttests at the 0.05 level and no adjustments were made for multiple comparisons.
In 2012, ACOG issued a Committee Opinion recommending annual pelvic exams for women aged 21 and over as part of the well-woman visit. The guidance was changed in 2018, when the organization issued a Committee Opinion advising that the test be performed when indicated by medical history or symptoms.
The key findings of the CDC analysis are as follows: