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Contraception. 2005 Sep;72(3):179-81.

Cervical cancer screening continues to limit provision of contraception.

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General Internal Medicine Section, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), San Francisco, CA 94121, USA.



Balancing needs for contraception and cervical cancer screening is challenging for clinicians. We assessed US obstetrician/gynecologists' practices regarding requirement of Pap testing before prescribing oral contraceptive or emergency contraceptive pills.


Questionnaires structured as clinical vignettes describing women desiring contraception with different risks of cervical dysplasia were mailed to a national sample of 355 obstetrician/gynecologists.


A minority (3%) of the 185 obstetrician/gynecologists who responded would refill 12 months of oral contraceptives without requiring Pap testing. However, most would provide a limited supply of oral contraceptives until Pap testing could be performed. A substantial proportion (11-16%) would refuse to prescribe emergency contraception to women who they felt required Pap testing. Younger physicians, those practicing in academic settings and those who follow American Cancer Society guidelines were more willing to prescribe contraceptives without Pap testing.


Cervical cancer screening continues to limit prescription of routine and emergency contraception by many US obstetrician/gynecologists.

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