July 08, 2008 20:56 ET

CA Dept. of Health Services Announces New Gyn Benefit for California's Neediest Women

Coverage of Biggest Birth Control Advancement in Decades Praised by Bay Area Practitioner

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - July 8, 2008) - Following Medi-Cal, which added in-office hysteroscopic sterilization as a covered benefit in May, the State Office of Family Planning today announced that its Family PACT program will also cover the revolutionary procedure. The vast majority of health insurance plans now cover hysteroscopic sterilization, allowing indigent women to avoid traditional surgical hysterectomies that come with the dangers of general anesthesia, 2-3 days of post-operative discomfort, and time away from work and family.

San Jose-based Seth A. Stabinsky, M.D., FACOG, Medical Director of EASy Gyn Clinical & Research Centers of North America, Inc., and an expert in the non-surgical procedure, hailed the announcement. "This method of permanent birth control is the most important advancement in contraception since oral contraceptives became available in the U.S. almost 50 years ago." Stabinsky completed a fellowship in endoscopic gynecology at Stanford University, and was recently the medical supervisor for a clinical trial of over 600 women who underwent hysteroscopic sterilization.

Thanks to Family PACT's and Medi-Cal's recent announcements of coverage for the revolutionary sterilization procedure, Stabinsky's office and others, that treat women from all socioeconomic backgrounds, will be able to provide the new treatment to almost any Californian woman who desires no future pregnancies.

"Patients who undergo office sterilization almost always return to their usual activities in less than a day. When properly performed, it is also more effective than the traditional approach," said Dr. Stabinsky. "Such easy access and recovery, the desire to avoid continued use of hormones, and a partner's reluctance to undergo vasectomy, are probably the strongest motivators for women in their late thirties and early forties to choose this method of sterilization. Besides teenagers, this age group is the most likely to experience unplanned pregnancy."

According to The Guttmacher Institute, in 2005, California public funds paid for almost 24,000 births and over 7,500 abortions in women aged 35-44. Many women who ultimately chose to abort may have preferred prior sterilization if the procedure was covered by insurance, office-based, and did not require general anesthesia, multiple incisions and a 3-4 day recovery.


Family PACT offers comprehensive family planning services to all California residents at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, and that lack health insurance. The program meets the family planning needs of over half of California's women ages 13-44.

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