Clinical Focus


  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Academic Appointments


Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Member, California Future of Abortion (FAB) Council (2021 - Present)
  • Delegate to California Medical Association, ACOG (2021 - Present)
  • Junior Fellow Legislative Advocate, ACOG (2016 - 2020)

Professional Education


  • Board Certification: American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Complex Family Planning (2022)
  • Fellowship, Stanford University Obstetrics and Gynecology, Complex Family Planning (2022)
  • Board Certification: American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Obstetrics and Gynecology (2021)
  • Residency: Stanford University Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency (2020) CA
  • Medical Education: Georgetown University Office of the Registrar (2016) DC
  • BA, St. Olaf College
  • MD, Georgetown University School of Medicine

Clinical Trials


  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation for Pain Control During First-trimester Abortion Recruiting

    First-trimester abortion aspiration procedures are painful and sedation is typically provided. It is unsafe to drive after sedation due to the prolonged motor delay from some anesthetic agents. Without a known escort, most clinics do not allow patients to use public transportation, taxis, or rideshare services. Arranging a ride may be harder for those seeking abortion care than other surgical procedures given privacy concerns and the need to travel far distances. Additionally, some people have medical reasons that makes sedation in an outpatient abortion clinic unsafe. As abortion restrictions increase and more people need to travel far distances to access care, it is important to investigate non-pharmacologic pain control options. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) delivers a low-level electrical current through the skin. By activating the descending inhibitory systems in the central nervous system, these pulses of electrical current reduce sensitivity to pain. TENS has been shown to be effective in decreasing pain with menstrual cramps and during medication abortion, and it was found to be non-inferior to IV sedation for first-trimester procedural abortion. However, it remains unclear if TENS is better than ibuprofen and local anesthesia via paracervical block alone. The overarching goal of this research is to identify an inexpensive, non-pharmacologic, alternative pain control strategy for those with a medical or social contraindication to IV sedation. The specific aim of this project is to evaluate the efficacy of TENS to prevent pain during first-trimester procedural abortion. To achieve this objective, a blinded, randomized superiority trial comparing the use of TENS to sham for management of pain during first-trimester aspiration abortion is proposed. This research is significant because the validation of a non-pharmacologic pain management technique would decrease barriers to accessing abortion care.

    View full details

  • Cabergoline for Lactation Inhibition After Second-Trimester Abortion or Loss Not Recruiting

    This research study investigates the use of a drug, cabergoline, given immediately after second-trimester abortion or perinatal loss to decrease breast engorgement. Cabergoline is a medication approved for the symptomatic treatment of pituitary adenomas that result in a hyperprolactinemic state (a brain tumor that results in milk leakage). The benefit of stopping milk leakage has also been studied and used in populations who shouldn't breastfeed. The investigators aim to clarify if cabergoline is effective in preventing breast engorgement and milk leakage after second-trimester abortions or perinatal loss (stillbirth). Breast engorgement causes physical pain and emotional distress as lactation is uniquely associated with parenthood and those undergoing second-trimester abortions are doing so because they choose not to parent or a previously desired pregnancy is now complicated by anomalies. As there are no current recommendations for management of this painful engorgement beyond icepacks and support bras, the investigators aim to validate the use of this pharmacologic option in this setting.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Andrea Henkel, MD, 650-721-1562.

    View full details

All Publications


  • Discovery of an Ectopic Pregnancy after Attempted Self-Managed Abortion. The New England journal of medicine Beshar, I., Liu, S. M., Shaw, K. A., Henkel, A. 2023; 388 (3): 278-279

    View details for DOI 10.1056/NEJMc2214213

    View details for PubMedID 36652361

  • Words matter: perforation or transmural migration? BMJ sexual & reproductive health Amaya, S. I., Henkel, A., Blumenthal, P. D. 2022

    View details for DOI 10.1136/bmjsrh-2022-201738

    View details for PubMedID 36564157

  • Optimizing postpartum contraception for high-risk obstetric patients. Current opinion in obstetrics & gynecology Miller, H. E., Darmawan, K. F., Henkel, A. 2022

    Abstract

    PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review will focus on those who are at greatest risk of maternal and neonatal morbidity from a subsequent unplanned or short interval pregnancy and the interventions to increase contraceptive uptake in the postpartum period.RECENT FINDINGS: Populations at highest risk of maternal or neonatal morbidity - those with a history of preterm birth or those with complex medical conditions - are also those at the highest risk for unintended pregnancies attributed to low-efficacy contraceptive failure/ noncontraceptive use, and many are discharged from birth hospitalization without understanding the importance of birth spacing related to their high-risk pregnancies. Current innovative strategies to improve postpartum contraception access and uptake among high-risk populations include utilizing the antenatal period to initiate contraception counseling, developing multidisciplinary teams, and incorporating multimedia-based educational tools. However, ongoing challenges that continue to pose barriers to contraception access include racial and economic disparities and the restructuring of obstetric care during the COVID-19 pandemic.SUMMARY: Preventing an unintended short interval pregnancy by providing contraception in the postpartum period is one of the most modifiable risk factors for those at highest risk of subsequent maternal or neonatal morbidity and therefore should be prioritized by clinicians, hospitals, and insurance coverage.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000816

    View details for PubMedID 36165024

  • Lactogenesis and breastfeeding after immediate versus delayed birth-hospitalization insertion of etonogestrel contraceptive implant: A non-inferiority trial. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology Henkel, A., Lerma, K., Reyes, G., Gutow, H., Shaw, J. G., Shaw, K. A. 2022

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: Initiating a progestin-based contraceptive prior to the drop in progesterone required to start lactogenesis stage II (LII) could theoretically impact lactation. Previous studies have shown that initiating progestin-based contraception in the postnatal period prior to birth-hospitalization discharge has no detriment on breastfeeding initiation or continuation compared to interval initiation as an outpatient; however, there is currently no breastfeeding data on the impact of initiating the etonogestrel contraceptive implant (ETG-implant) in the early postnatal period immediately in the delivery room.OBJECTIVE: This study examined the effect of delivery room vs delayed birth-hospitalization contraceptive ETG-implant insertion on breastfeeding outcomes.STUDY DESIGN: This is a non-inferiority randomized controlled trial to determine if time to LII (initiation of copious milk secretion) differs by timing of ETG-implant insertion during the birth-hospitalization. We randomly assigned pregnant people to insertion at 0-2 hours (delivery room) versus 24-48 hours (delayed) post-delivery. Participants intended to breastfeed, desired a contraceptive implant for postpartum contraception, were fluent in English or Spanish, and without an allergy or contraindication to the ETG-implant. We collected demographic information and breastfeeding intentions at enrollment. Onset of LII was assessed daily using a validated tool. The non-inferiority margin for the mean difference in time to LII was defined as 12 hours in a per-protocol analysis. Additional electronic surveys collected data on breastfeeding and contraceptive continuation at 2 and 4 weeks, 3, 6, and 12 months.RESULTS: We enrolled and randomized 95 participants; 77 participants were included in the modified intention-to-treat analysis (n=38 in the delivery room group and n=39 in the delayed group) after excluding eighteen due to withdrawing consent, changing contraceptive or breastfeeding plans, or failing to provide primary outcome data. 69 participants are included in the as-treated analysis (n=35 delivery room, n=34 delayed); 8 participants who received the ETG-implant outside the protocol windows were excluded and 2 participants from the delivery room group received the ETG-implant at 24-48 hours and were analyzed with the delayed group. Participants were similar between groups in age, gestational age, prior breastfeeding experience. Delivery room insertion was non-inferior to delayed birth-hospitalization insertion in time to LII (delivery room: [mean+standard deviation] 65+25 hours; delayed: 73+61 hours, mean difference -9 hours, 95% confidence interval [CI] -27, 10). Onset of LII by postpartum day 3 was not significantly different between groups. Lactation failure occurred in 5.5% (n=2) participants in the delayed group. Ongoing breastfeeding rates did not differ between groups with decreasing rates of any/exclusive breastfeeding over the first postpartum year. Most people continued to use the implant at 12 months, which did not differ by group.CONCLUSION: Delivery room insertion of the contraceptive ETG-implant does not delay onset of lactogenesis when compared to initiation later in the birth-hospitalization and therefore should be offered routinely as part of person-centered postpartum contraceptive counseling regardless of breastfeeding intentions.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ajog.2022.08.012

    View details for PubMedID 35964661

  • Second-trimester abortion care for those with complex medical conditions. Current opinion in obstetrics & gynecology Henkel, A., Blumenthal, P. D. 2022

    Abstract

    PURPOSE OF THE REVIEW: This review focuses on patients who are most likely to experience morbidity associated with second trimester abortion care and risk mitigation strategies.RECENT FINDINGS: Prior cesarean birth, particularly multiple prior cesarean births, is the most significant risk factor associated with complications during second trimester abortion because of increased risks of hemorrhage, with or without placenta accreta spectrum (PAS), and distorted anatomy, which increases the risk of uterine perforation. Recent data suggests that first trimester ultrasound findings may be predictive of PAS, including multiple lacunae, abnormal uteroplacental interface, and hypervascularity. Multiple common medications interact with mifepristone and are therefore contraindicated; ulipristal shares mifepristone's selective progesterone receptor modulator activity but does not share the same metabolic pathway. Recent data suggests ulipristal may be an effective adjunct for cervical preparation, avoiding potentially mifepristone's drug-drug interactions. Those ending a pregnancy due to severe early-onset hypertensive disorders have a high rate of clinically significant thrombocytopenia: platelet transfusion is recommended for those with platelets <50 000 per cubic millimeter.SUMMARY: Pregnant people presenting for care in the second trimester may have conditions that make an abortion more technically or medically complex. Clinicians can mitigate much of this increased risk with preprocedural planning, and appropriate intra-operative preparedness.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000817

    View details for PubMedID 36036465

  • Impact of a Potential 20-Week Abortion Ban on Likelihood of Completing Required Views in Second-Trimester Fetal Anatomy Ultrasound. American journal of perinatology Henkel, A., Beshar, I., Cahill, E. P., Blumenfeld, Y. J., Chueh, J., Shaw, K. A. 2022

    Abstract

     The aim of this study was to quantify the likelihood of assessing all mandated fetal views during the second-trimester anatomy ultrasound prior to the proposed federal 20-week abortion ban. Retrospective cohort study of a random sample of 1,983 patients undergoing anatomy ultrasound in 2017 at a tertiary referral center. The difference in proportion of incomplete anatomic surveys prior compared with after 20-week gestation was analyzed using X 2 and adjusted logistic regression; difference in mean days elapsed from anomaly diagnosis to termination tested using t-tests and survival analysis. Incomplete views were more likely with initial ultrasound before 20 weeks (adjusted relative risk: 1.70; 95% confidence interval: 1.50-1.94); 43.5% versus 26.1% were incomplete before and after 20 weeks, respectively. Fetal structural anomalies were identified in 6.4% (n = 127/1,983) scans, with 38.0% (n = 49) identified at follow-up after initial scan was incomplete. 22.8% (n = 29) with an anomaly terminated. A complete assessment of fetal views during an anatomy ultrasound prior to 20-week gestation is often not technically feasible. Legislation limiting abortion to this gestational age would greatly impact patient's ability to make informed choices about their pregnancies.· It is often not technically possible to complete anatomy ultrasound prior to 20-week gestation.. · Often, anomalies are missed during early, incomplete anatomy ultrasounds.. · After the diagnosis of a structural anomaly, one in five chose to terminate the pregnancy..

    View details for DOI 10.1055/s-0042-1749138

    View details for PubMedID 35576967

  • The Cost of Loss: A Secret-Shopper Survey of Mortuary Disposition of Fetal Remains Burns, R., Henkel, A., Cahill, E. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2022: 53S
  • Missing strings following immediate postpartum IUD placement. BMJ sexual & reproductive health Henkel, A., Blumenthal, P. D. 2022

    View details for DOI 10.1136/bmjsrh-2021-201400

    View details for PubMedID 35277465

  • Postpartum permanent contraception: updates on policy and access. Current opinion in obstetrics & gynecology Henkel, A., Beshar, I., Goldthwaite, L. M. 2021

    Abstract

    PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To describe barriers to provision of postpartum permanent contraception at patient, hospital, and insurance levels.RECENT FINDINGS: Permanent contraception remains the most commonly used form of contraception in the United States with the majority of procedures performed during birth-hospitalization. Many people live in regions with a high Catholic hospital market share where individual contraceptive plans may be refused based on religious doctrine. Obesity should not preclude an individual from receiving a postpartum tubal ligation as recent studies find that operative time is clinically similar with no increased risk of complications in obese compared with nonobese people. The largest barrier to provision of permanent contraception remains the federally mandated consent for sterilization for those with Medicaid insurance. State variation in enforcement of the Medicaid policy additionally contributes to unequal access and physician reimbursement. Although significant barriers exist in policy that will take time to improve, hospital-based interventions, such as listing postpartum tubal ligation as an 'urgent' procedure or scheduling interval laparoscopic salpingectomy prior to birth-hospitalization discharge can make a significant impact in actualization of desired permanent contraception for patients.SUMMARY: Unfulfilled requests for permanent contraception result in higher rates of unintended pregnancies, loss of self-efficacy, and higher costs. Hospital and federal policy should protect vulnerable populations while not preventing provision of desired contraception.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000750

    View details for PubMedID 34534995

  • First Trimester Abortion Care in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. Clinical obstetrics and gynecology Henkel, A., Shaw, K. A. 2021; 64 (3): 449-459

    Abstract

    Access to first trimester abortions has increased significantly in the past few decades in low and middle-income countries. Manual vacuum aspiration is now standard of care for procedural abortion and postabortion care. Medication abortion has shifted abortions to being performed earlier in pregnancy and is becoming more widely available with new service delivery strategies to broaden access. Widespread availability of misoprostol has made abortions induced outside of the formal medical sector overall safer. In both legally restrictive and supportive environments, there is increased interested in self-managed abortions as part of a shift towards demedicalizing abortion through task-sharing.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/GRF.0000000000000626

    View details for PubMedID 34323227

  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on postpartum contraception planning AMERICAN JOURNAL OF OBSTETRICS & GYNECOLOGY MFM Miller, H. E., Henkel, A., Leonard, S. A., Miller, S. E., Tran, L., Bianco, K., Shaw, K. A. 2021; 3 (5)
  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on postpartum contraception planning. American journal of obstetrics & gynecology MFM Miller, H. E., Henkel, A., Leonard, S. A., Miller, S. E., Tran, L., Bianco, K., Shaw, K. A. 2021: 100412

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ajogmf.2021.100412

    View details for PubMedID 34058421

  • Management of bothersome bleeding associated with progestin-based long-acting reversible contraception: a review. Current opinion in obstetrics & gynecology Henkel, A., Goldthwaite, L. M. 2020

    Abstract

    PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To describe common bleeding patterns and treatment strategies to minimize bothersome bleeding in users of progestin-based long-acting reversible contraception (LARC).RECENT FINDINGS: Most levonorgestrel intrauterine device users will establish a favorable bleeding pattern within a year; NSAIDs are the most effective bridge to help with bothersome bleeding during that time period. Early follicular phase insertion and fundal placement are associated with more favorable early bleeding profiles. Recent studies exploring tranexamic acid, mifepristone, and tamoxifen's adjunct role show modest or no benefit. The progestin implant is associated with more persistent unpredictable bleeding disproportionately affecting women with higher etonogestrel serum levels; recent studies indicate that oral contraceptives, ulipristal acetate, and tamoxifen may all provide temporary relief.SUMMARY: Women's healthcare providers can offer patients adjunct medical therapies to minimize bothersome bleeding associated with progestin LARC use, which may result in increased satisfaction and continuation rates of these effective forms of contraception.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000664

    View details for PubMedID 32889971

  • Evaluation of shorter mifepristone to misoprostol intervals for second trimester medical abortion: a retrospective cohort study. Contraception Henkel, A., Lerma, K., Blumenthal, P. D., Shaw, K. A. 2020

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVES: To assess shorter mifepristone-misoprostol intervals compared to current guidelines for second trimester medical abortion on total abortion time (mifepristone to fetal expulsion) and induction time (first misoprostol to fetal expulsion).METHODS: This retrospective cohort study included women who elected for a second trimester medical abortion with mifepristone and misoprostol at an academic tertiary medical center in the United States from January 2008 to June 2018. We abstracted times of mifepristone administration, first dose of misoprostol, and fetal expulsion from the medical record. We assessed outcomes based on the shorter intervals <12 hours and 12 to 24 hours compared to the guideline mifepristone-misoprostol interval (24-48 hours).RESULTS: The study population included eighty-nine women, 47, 28, and 14 women in the <12 hour, 12-24 hour, guideline (24-48 hour) groups, respectively. The cohort had a median gestational age of 220/7 weeks (range: 150/7-270/7) and parity of 1 (range: 0-5) with no differences observed between groups. Total abortion times were 20.7 hours (range: 3.7-46.9), 30.6 hours (16.7-48.0), and 42.8 hours (32.7-62.6), respectively (p<0.001). Induction times were 12.9 hours (range: 1.2-36.6), 11.7 hours (2.0-35.2), and 9.3 hours (5.3-16.5), respectively. Fetal expulsion within 12 hours of first misoprostol dose occurred in 22 (47%), 14 (50%), and 9 (64%), respectively (p=0.52).CONCLUSIONS: Shorter mifepristone-misoprostol intervals (less than 24 hours) significantly decrease the total abortion time while maintaining a clinically similar induction time.IMPLICATIONS: Shortening the mifepristone-misoprostol interval in second trimester medical abortion significantly decreases the total abortion time which may be preferable to some women or health systems. (Words: 25).

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.contraception.2020.06.009

    View details for PubMedID 32592800

  • Postplacental intra-abdominal placement of levonorgestrel 52mg intrauterine system: a case report. Contraception Peterson, S. F., Henkel, A., Ganti, A., Blumenthal, P. D. 2020

    Abstract

    This case of an intra-abdominal levonorgestrel 52mg intrauterine system found three weeks after manual postplacental placement demonstrates the importance of proper insertion technique and ascertainment of fundal placement. Ultrasound guidance can be considered if fundal placement is uncertain. Short interval follow up should be recommended to confirm proper placement.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.contraception.2020.01.015

    View details for PubMedID 32081642

  • Preeclampsia Treatment in SARS-CoV-2. American journal of obstetrics & gynecology MFM Joudi, N. n., Henkel, A. n., Lock, W. S., Lyell, D. n. 2020: 100146

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ajogmf.2020.100146

    View details for PubMedID 32838258

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7237374

  • Barriers to Completing Second-trimester Antenatal Screening: A Retrospective Cohort Study Beshar, I., Henkel, A., Cahill, E., Josh, Y., Shaw, K. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2019: 25S
  • Connect the Dots-March 2019. Obstetrics and gynecology Coney, T., Henkel, A., Plisko, A. M., Chescheir, N. C. 2019; 133 (3): 579-581

    View details for DOI 10.1097/AOG.0000000000003151

    View details for PubMedID 30741819

  • Misoprostol as an Adjunct to Overnight Osmotic Dilators Prior to Second Trimester Dilation and Evacuation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Contraception Cahill, E. P., Henkel, A. n., Shaw, J. G., Shaw, K. A. 2019

    Abstract

    Misoprostol as an Adjunct to Overnight Osmotic Dilators Prior to Second Trimester Dilation and Evacuation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Cahill EP, Henkel AG, Shaw JG, Shaw KA OBJECTIVE: To understand effect of adjunct misoprostol with overnight osmotic dilators for dilation and evacuation for cervical preparation after 16 weeks gestation on procedure time and dilation, complication rate, and side effects.We searched PubMed, ClinicalTrials.gov, POPLINE, and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register using search terms for second trimester, abortion, misoprostol, dilators and reviewed reference lists of published reports. Randomized controlled trials of cervical preparation for second trimester D&E using overnight osmotic dilators comparing adjunct misoprostol to placebo were included. Weighted mean and standard deviation (SD) and pooled binary outcomes were compared with two sample t-test or chi-square respectively.Among 84 articles identified, three met inclusion criteria of randomized controlled trials comparing adjunct misoprostol to placebo with overnight osmotic dilators prior to second trimester abortion with 457 total subjects at 16-24 weeks gestation (misoprostol n=228; placebo n=229). In the meta-analysis, misoprostol as compared to placebo did not significantly decrease mean procedure times (8.5 + 4.6 vs 9.6 + 5.8 minutes, p=0.78) or need for manual dilation (18% vs 28%, p=0.23). There was no difference in total complications (p=0.61), major complications (hemorrhage, uterine perforation, hospitalization, p=0.44), or cervical lacerations (p=0.87).Current limited evidence suggests that use of adjunctive misoprostol with osmotic dilators after 16 weeks does not affect procedure time or need for manual dilation. Further research is needed to determine if adjunctive misoprostol affects major complications and blood loss.Adjunctive misoprostol does not affect procedure time or need for manual dilation in mid to late second trimester abortion. Further research is needed to determine the effect of adjunctive misoprostol on major complications and blood loss.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.contraception.2019.09.005

    View details for PubMedID 31811840

  • Advances in the management of early pregnancy loss CURRENT OPINION IN OBSTETRICS & GYNECOLOGY Henkel, A., Shaw, K. A. 2018; 30 (6): 419–24
  • Advances in the management of early pregnancy loss. Current opinion in obstetrics & gynecology Henkel, A., Shaw, K. A. 2018

    Abstract

    PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To describe recent advances in management of early pregnancy loss.RECENT FINDINGS: Addition of mifepristone to current protocols for medical management of miscarriage increases effectiveness of a single dose of misoprostol and significantly reduces subsequent aspiration procedures. Women with an incomplete evacuation after medical management may be treated expectantly with similar rates of complete expulsion compared with surgical management at 6 weeks. As cytogenetic analysis improves, analysis of products of conception can be performed whether collected after surgical or medical management and is an efficient strategy in starting a recurrent pregnancy loss work-up. For those seeking pregnancy after miscarriage, conception immediately following an early pregnancy loss is not associated with increased risk of subsequent miscarriage. However, recent studies suggest that the original intendedness of the pregnancy resulting in miscarriage does not predict future reproductive goals of the woman, so family planning should be discussed at the time of miscarriage.SUMMARY: Miscarriage is a common experience among reproductive-aged women and advances in medical management and modern-day aspiration techniques make the use of the sharp curette obsolete.

    View details for PubMedID 30299321