Commentary urgently calls on hospitalists to address inpatients’ contraceptive needs



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The overturning of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court gives new urgency to considering women’s contraceptive needs in all interactions with the health care system. A new commentary from Eileen Barrett, MD, Albuquerque, New Mexico calls on hospitalists to offer contraceptive counseling to patients of childbearing age regardless of reason for hospitalization. The editorial is published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended, and unintended pregnancy is associated with worse outcomes. Access to contraception decreases rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion. However, not everyone has access to contraception because of financial barriers, widespread misperceptions about family planning, regulatory and geographic barriers, and availability of prescribing clinicians. These challenges disproportionately affect low-income persons and people of color. Hospitalists frequently take care of patients of childbearing age, especially since concurrent epidemics of COVID-19, substance use disorders, and obesity and their resultant complications among younger persons. As such, the editorialists argue that family planning services should be part of hospitalist care even for hospital admission for nongynecologic reasons.    

Media info: For an embargoed PDF or contact information for Eileen Barrett, MD, please contact Angela Collom at [email protected].