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Focus on decreasing unintended pregnanciesI found the letters in response to Dr. Barbieri’s Editorial on inadequate contraception to be much overwrought. Dr. Will’s suggestion to have “automatic contraception … for all reproductive-age women including ‘children’ who are … menstruating” is excessive. Shouldn’t parents have the final decision making in their minor children’s health care?

An anonymous clinician ex-presses frustration with a Catholichealth care system for not allowing prescription of contraceptives, which does actually stay true to the religious beliefs of the institution, and proposes decreased reimbursements to these facilities across the board as a form of financial punishment for these practices. Not only would that be illegal and unconstitutional but it also demonstrates a lack of understanding of our First Amendment protections.

Overall, these letters and Dr. Barbieri’s response show a very narrow understanding of the issues involved. I think we can and should be focused on decreasing unintended pregnancies while also respecting the rights of all without resorting to Draconian and totalitarian solutions.

Myles Dotto, MD
Oradell, New Jersey

Dr. Barbieri respondsI share Dr. Dotto’s concern that government mandates regarding health care are potentially very dangerous. It is better for communities of clinicians and patients to develop optimal approaches to health care, without government interference.

“THE CRUSHING OF INNOVATION FOR TREATING FEMALE PELVIC FLOOR DISORDERS: A STORY OF ‘LEAD OR BE LED’”ANDREW CASSIDENTI, MD (GUEST EDITORIAL; APRIL 2016)Stand up for research benefiting our patientsI salute Dr. Cassidenti’s courage to call surgeons and the respective professional organizations to step up to defend the research and expose inappropriate expert testimony. We should be ashamed to be scattered like dogs because of fear and lack of courage to be advocates for what is in the best interest of our patients. Please continue the campaign to encourage physicians and surgeons to stand up.

Cleve Waters, MD
Chattanooga, Tennessee

Caving to class action litigation is a mistakeIn his Guest Editorial Dr. Cassidenti clarifies the importance of looking forward regarding mesh devices for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) treatment. As an advocate for women with POP and Founder/Executive Director of the Association for Pelvic Organ Prolapse Support—a US-based 501(c)(3)advocacy agency with global arms focused on generating awareness of POP and providing guidance and support to women navigating POP treatment—I found Endo International’s decision to close its Astora Women’s Health division extremely unsettling.

The nature of medicine is to continually advance, and that includes learning from experience and recognizing paths to evolution. Caving to class action litigation is a mistake. Research findings frequently indicate that up to half of the female population will experience POP and/or comorbid conditions.1 It is imperative that health care, industry, research, academia, policy, and advocacy agencies continue to shine a light on this much needed field in women’s health.

Sherrie Palm
Milwaukee, Wisconsin


  1. Barber MD, Maher C. Epidemiology and outcome assessment of pelvic organ prolapse. Int Urogynecol J. 2013;24(11):1783–1790.


Avoidance: the greatest tool to address shoulder dystociaAlthough avoiding endometrial injury at cesarean delivery, including the possibility of later pathologic implantation, can be attained with vaginal delivery, vaginal birth at all cost leads to a dangerous situation. The emergency environment of shoulder dystocia is not a preferable or safer stratagem.

It is granted that shoulder dystocia will happen at some point but avoidance, by employing cesarean delivery when it is indicated, is the greatest tool for addressing this very dangerous problem.

J. Michael Arnold, MD
Oconto Falls, Wisconsin

Another suggestion for shoulder dystociaMy senior partner taught me a technique that works well, although I do not know its name. After suprapubic and McRoberts maneuvers fail and the shoulders do not deliver with gentle downward guidance in one direction, I rotate the head 180° and try again. Usually this works. I have taught this technique to several midwives, and they swear by it.

Annette Fineberg, MD
Davis, California

Dr. Barbieri respondsI thank Drs. Arnold and Fineberg for sharing their perspective and experience with our readers. Dr. Arnold notes that recommending cesarean delivery in high-risk situations such as cases in which the mother has diabetes and the fetus is macrosomic would surely reduce the frequency of shoulder dystocia. I respect Dr. Fineberg’s recommendation, based on extensive clinical experience, that by rotating the fetal head the shoulder dystocia may be resolved. My concern with this technique is that the torque transmitted to the neck might cause fetal damage. I think that rotating the shoulders (Rubin or Wood maneuver) would be less likely to result in fetal injury.

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Reader reactions to the problem of inadequate contraception for high-risk women

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