The North American Menopause Society urges public comment on the USPSTF routine pelvic exams draft evidence review

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: July 6, 2016

The North American Menopause Society urges public comment on the
USPSTF routine pelvic exams draft evidence review

CLEVELAND, Ohio (Wednesday, July 6, 2016)—The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has opened for public comment a draft evidence review on the necessity of annual well-woman pelvic examinations. The systematic review was written to support the USPSTF in creating its recommendation on the periodic screening pelvic examination. The authors performed a search of the medical literature published over the past 60 years and located just eight studies looking at the diagnostic accuracy of pelvic exams. They found no studies that assessed how effective the exams are for reducing death and disease or improving quality of life. The final evidence review will be used to inform the first-ever USPSTF recommendation statement on pelvic exams. The USPSTF has pointed out that although some 60 million pelvic exams are done each year, the practice has not been very well studied and said that the current evidence is “insufficient” to determine the balance of benefits and harms of the pelvic exam.

JoAnn V. Pinkerton, MD, NCMP, Executive Director of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), along with the NAMS Executive Committee, strongly encourages public comment on the draft recommendation. “The pelvic exam is needed to screen for conditions such as the genitourinary syndrome of menopause that affects more than 50% of postmenopausal women, neoplasias, fibroids, pelvic floor conditions, and dermatologic conditions associated with elevated disease risks,” says Dr. Pinkerton. “The recommendation to perform pelvic exams only if women complain of problems will lead to missed opportunities to diagnose pelvic issues.”

The draft recommendation does not apply to women who are pregnant or those with existing conditions that need to be evaluated and does not recommend changes to current guidelines for cervical cancer screening.
The opportunity for public comment on the draft review evidence expires on July 25, 2016, at 8:00 PM EST. To comment, go to USPSTF draft evidence review.

Founded in 1989, The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) is North America’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the health and quality of life of all women during midlife and beyond through an understanding of menopause and healthy aging. Its
multidisciplinary membership of 2,000 leaders in the field—including clinical and basic science experts from medicine, nursing, sociology, psychology, nutrition, anthropology, epidemiology, pharmacy, and education—makes NAMS uniquely qualified to serve as the definitive resource for health professionals and the public for accurate, unbiased information about menopause and healthy aging. To learn more about NAMS, visit