/ /

  • linkedin
  • Increase Font
  • Sharebar

    Study: Annual ob/gyn visits declining


    Results of a study published online in Obstetrics & Gynecology show that the number of women who annually visit an ob/gyn has steadily declined since 2000. Using National Health Interview Survey data from 2000 to 2015, the researchers identified the percentage of US women who visited an ob/gyn and also the percentage of women who visited a primary care physician within the past 12 months. The data were adjusted for sociodemographic and health factors.

    When looking at visitation trends among ob/gyns, there was no significant change from 2000-2003 or from 2007-2011, but from 2003-2007, the adjusted percentage of visitations declined from 45.0% to 41.2% and during 2011-2015, visitations declined from 41.8%-38.4% (P < .001 for trends). The number of patients who saw both an ob/gyn and primary care physician in the preceding 12 months also declined; the adjusted percentage of these patients was 32.4% in 2000, peaked at 35.2% in 2003, and by 2015 had fallen to 29.8%. The authors found that the adjusted percentage of women who visited a primary care physician remained steady without significant change from 2000-2015, ranging from 70.1% in 2007 to 74.2% in 2003 (P > .05 for trend).

    Recommended: Talking about female sexual dysfunction in specific patient populations

    The authors believe this trend suggests that the decline in ob/gyn visits was not simply a substitution of physician types since the numbers of women seeing a primary care physician did not increase. However, the data do not identify the reason why ob/gyn visits have decreased. The study’s authors posit that longer-acting contraceptive methods may be one possibility for the decline. Another possibility could be due to the change in recommendations for Pap smear frequency. One more possibility raised is the increased usage of nurse practitioners and physician assistants who may be able to provide women the same services that formerly were only available from ob/gyns. 

    NEXT: MAb may reduce risk of fracture in women with osteoporosis

    Judith M. Orvos, ELS
    Judith M. Orvos, ELS, is a a BELS-certified medical writer and editor and an editorial consultant for Contemporary OB/GYN.
    Ben Schwartz
    Ben Schwartz is Associate Editor, Contemporary OB/GYN.


    You must be signed in to leave a comment. Registering is fast and free!

    All comments must follow the ModernMedicine Network community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated. ModernMedicine reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part,in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

    • No comments available


    Latest Tweets Follow