Bio


Erica P. Cahill, MD, MS(c), is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Complex Family Planning at Stanford University. She is the Director of the Stanford Ryan Program and of the residency Gynecology rotation. She graduated from Wesleyan University with a BA in Neuroscience and Behavior. After college, she worked at Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Women’s Mental Health on clinical trials involving neuroendocrine disorders during pregnancy and menopause. She subsequently earned her MD from The University of Vermont and completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency at The George Washington University Hospital. She completed Fellowship in Complex Family Planning here at Stanford as well as obtaining a Masters in Epidemiology here at Stanford.

Her research interests include expanding contraceptive options and abortion care access, sexual education, reproductive health technology, reproductive transitions (pregnancy, postpartum, menopause) and medical education. She is committed to supporting and creating medically accurate, woman-centered policy nationally and globally. She enjoys teaching residents, medical students, and undergraduates as part of her generalist practice. She also co-hosts a reproductive health podcast called The V Word.

Clinical Focus


  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Family Planning

Academic Appointments


Professional Education


  • MS, Stanford University, Clinical Epidemiology (2019)
  • Fellowship: Stanford University Family Planning Fellowship (2019) CA
  • Residency: George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (2017) DC
  • Medical Education: University of Vermont College of Medicine (2013) VT

Graduate and Fellowship Programs


All Publications


  • Self-managed abortion. Current opinion in obstetrics & gynecology Conti, J., Cahill, E. P. 2019; 31 (6): 435–40

    Abstract

    PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To review the current state of self-managed or self-induced abortion in the United States and the emerging legal, political, and research questions surrounding this issue.RECENT FINDINGS: With the exponential rise of restrictive antiabortion laws in the United States, it has become increasingly difficult to access safe and legal abortion services. One response to this hostile environment for reproductive care access is an increased interest in methods of self-induced or self-managed abortions, primarily by medications sourced outside the medical setting. Medication abortion is established as a safe and effective method of ending a pregnancy. Compared with clinic-based care, the two most pressing concerns regarding the safety of self-managed abortion are that people seeking abortion will incorrectly self-identifying as appropriate candidates and that they will not know or be able to access medical care if needed. There is therefore an increasing need for medical providers to learn about and researchers to evaluate the incidence, safety and efficacy of self-management of abortion. Simultaneously, reproductive law experts must continue to develop and educate on the legal frameworks to protect and decriminalize people seeking self-managed abortion as well as their care providers.SUMMARY: Emerging research suggests that abortion outside the medical setting, or self-managed abortion, is an overall safe and effective way to end a pregnancy. However, significant legal barriers and stigma remain. The safest environment for self-managed abortion (SMA) is one where accurate information is available, medical care is accessible when needed, and all methods of abortion remain legal.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000585

    View details for PubMedID 31693568

  • 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
  • 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., 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

  • Pericoital contraception. Current opinion in obstetrics & gynecology Cahill, E. P., Blumenthal, P. D. 2018; 30 (6): 400–406

    Abstract

    PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To evaluate the literature on repeat use of emergency contraception and pericoital approaches to contraception.RECENT FINDINGS: Women are very interested in an oral, on-demand contraceptive option, were one available. Ulipristal acetate and a combination of levonorgestrel (LNG) and meloxicam (a cyclo-oxygenase-2 inhibitor) both appear to be more effective at disrupting ovulation than LNG alone. Recent advisories from the United Kingdom regarding daily dosing of ulipristal for fibroids emphasize the need for more safety data.SUMMARY: Repeat pericoital dosing of 1.5-mg LNG is approximately as effective as other on-demand contraceptive methods and is overall very safe. The most common side effect is irregular bleeding. Repeat on-demand ulipristal acetate or meloxicam/other cyclo-oxygenase-2 inhibitors have potential as an on-demand option either alone or in combination but have not been evaluated for contraceptive efficacy in a large-scale study. Given the high unmet need for contraception, even among women with access to available options, there is a distinct need for options that address needs of women who are interested in an on-demand option. On-demand oral contraception has the potential to expand the convenience of contraceptive options and overall contraceptive use.

    View details for PubMedID 30399016

  • Postpartum intrauterine devices: Clinical and programmatic review. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology Goldthwaite, L. M., Cahill, E. P., Voedisch, A. J., Blumenthal, P. D. 2018

    Abstract

    The immediate postpartum period is a critical moment for contraceptive access and an opportunity to initiate long acting reversible contraception, including insertion of an intrauterine device (IUD). The use of the IUD in the postpartum period is a safe practice with few contraindications and many benefits. While an IUD placed during the postpartum period is more likely to expel compared to one placed at the postpartum visit, women initiating IUDs at the time of delivery are also more likely to continue to use an IUD compared to women planning to follow up for an interval IUD insertion. This review will focus on the most recent clinical and programmatic updates on postpartum IUD practice. We discuss postpartum IUD expulsion and continuation, eligibility criteria and contraindications, safety in regards to breastfeeding, and barriers to access. Our aim is to summarize evidence related to postpartum IUDs and encourage those involved in the health care system to remove barriers to this worthwhile practice.

    View details for PubMedID 30031750

  • Abortion in the media. Current opinion in obstetrics & gynecology Conti, J. A., Cahill, E. 2017; 29 (6): 427–30

    Abstract

    To review updates in how abortion care is depicted and analysed though various media outlets: news, television, film, and social media.A surge in recent media-related abortion research has recognized several notable and emerging themes: abortion in the news media is often inappropriately sourced and politically motivated; abortion portrayal in US film and television is frequently misrepresented; and social media has a new and significant role in abortion advocacy.The portrayal of abortion onscreen, in the news, and online through social media has a significant impact on cultural, personal, and political beliefs in the United States. This is an emerging field of research with wide spread potential impact across several arenas: medicine, policy, public health.

    View details for PubMedID 28915157