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 Co-Director of the Medical Students Reproductive Health Block, the Assistant Fellowship Director for the Fellowship in Complex Family Planning and course director of the Ob-Gyn Residency Benign Gynecology rotation and Complex Family Planning Elective.
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 at The George Washington University Hospital. She completed a Fellowship in Complex Family Planning and a Masters in Epidemiology here at Stanford.
Her research interests include addressing health disparities in perinatal and reproductive health through education and technology, including AntiRacism reproductive health work, trauma-informed care education, and increasing access to safe abortion care. She is committed to creating and supporting medically accurate reproductive policy. She enjoys teaching residents, medical students, and undergraduates as part of her practice. She has previously co-hosted a reproductive health podcast called The V Word and is active on social media as @drericacahill.
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Complex Family Planning
- Preconception Care
- LGBTQ plus Reproductive Care
- Menopause Transition Care
- Sexual Health Care
Clinical Assistant Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology
Block Co-Director, Women's Health Block, Stanford School of Medicine (2020 - Present)
Assistant Fellowship Director, Fellowship in Complex Family Planning (2020 - Present)
Ryan Program Director, Stanford University (2020 - Present)
Gynecology Rotation Director, Stanford Residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology (2020 - Present)
Complex Family Planning Elective, Stanford Gynecology (2021 - Present)
Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations
Member, District IX Committee for Underserved Women (starting 2021), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2013 - Present)
Member, Education Committee, Society of Family Planning (SFP) (2016 - Present)
Member, American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) (2018 - Present)
Fellow, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) (2020 - Present)
Board Certification: American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Obstetrics and Gynecology (2020)
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
Community and International Work
Reproductive Health Education with Loom
Opportunities for Student Involvement
Assessment, Testing and Measurement
Parents and Family Issues
Poverty and Inequality
Race and Ethnicity
Current Research and Scholarly Interests
reproductive and sexual health care and education
- Perspectives on the Abortion Experience in Western Fiction
OBGYN 81Q (Spr)
- Science of Medicine II-B
INDE 222B (Aut)
Graduate and Fellowship Programs
Socioeconomic Differences Persist in Use of Permanent versus Long-Acting Reversible Contraception: An Analysis of the National Survey for Family Growth, 2006-2010 versus 2015-2017.
OBJECTIVE: Permanent contraception has historically been more prevalent among non-White women with lower education and income. Given increasing popularity of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), we examine changing sociodemographic patterns of permanent contraception and LARC.STUDY DESIGN: We performed a descriptive analysis of the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) from 2006-2017, with multivariable analyses of the 2006-2010 and 2015-2017 cohorts. Using multinomial logistic regression, we investigate predictors of contraceptive category (permanent contraception versus LARC, lower-efficacy contraception versus LARC) in reproductive-aged women.RESULTS: 8,161 respondents were included in two distinct but analogous regression analyses: 1) the most recent survey cohort, 2015-2017, and 2) the cohort a decade prior, 2006-2010. Over this period, the prevalence of LARC increased nearly three-fold (6.2% to 16.7%), while permanent contraception use trended downwards (22% to 18.6%). Yet, in adjusted models, we observed little change in the sociodemographic predictors of permanent contraception: from the early to recent cohort, use of permanent contraception (versus LARC) remained less likely among college graduates (multinomial odds ratio (OR) 0.45[95% CI 0.21, 0.97]) and Hispanic women (OR 0.41[0.21, 0.82]). In addition, high income (>$74,999) and metropolitan residence came to predict less use (OR 0.33[0.13, 0.84] and 0.47[0.23, 0.97]). Multiparity, advanced age (over ≥35), and marital status remained strong predictors of permanent contraception.CONCLUSION: Although use of LARC nearly equals that of permanent contraception in the most recent NSFG survey, socioeconomic differences persist. Continued effort is needed to detect and address structural barriers to accessing the most effective forms of contraception for women.IMPLICATIONS: Comparing 2006-2010 to 2015-2017, reliance on female permanent contraception decreased while LARC use increased, making prevalence more similar. However, significant socioeconomic differences persist in who chooses permanent contraception, with urban, educated, higher-income women more likely to use LARC. Ongoing efforts are needed to understand and reduce economic barriers to LARC.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.contraception.2020.12.008
View details for PubMedID 33359509
Advances in contraception research and development.
Current opinion in obstetrics & gynecology
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: In the past few years, there have been great advances in contraceptive technology and development. Here we review advances in contraception over the past two years including new medications, and technologies.RECENT FINDINGS: Contraception must be discussed within the context of individual goals and context. New contraceptive options approved by the FDA in the past two years include a year-long vaginal ring, a progestin-only pill that is as effective as combined oral contraceptive pills, a new hormonal patch and a vaginal gel that may also help prevent sexually transmitted infections.There are still areas of contraceptive research that are very much unknown including biomarkers of contraceptive efficacy or side effects, how individuals or groups metabolize contraception, initiation around reproductive life events or the discontinuation of other methods.SUMMARY: There have been many new contraceptives developed over the past few years to address challenges of existing contraception and create new methods; yet, there remain many unanswered questions in contraceptive research. Contraceptive technology has far-reaching consequences, and independent of technology itself, represents a great opportunity for truly personalized medicine.
View details for DOI 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000666
View details for PubMedID 32969852
Sociodemographic Trends in Long Acting Reversible Contraception vs. Female Sterilization, 2006-2017
LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2020: 100S
View details for Web of Science ID 000554572900348
Current opinion in obstetrics & gynecology
2019; 31 (6): 435–40
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
LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2019: 25S
View details for Web of Science ID 000473810000080
Misoprostol as an Adjunct to Overnight Osmotic Dilators Prior to Second Trimester Dilation and Evacuation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
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
Current opinion in obstetrics & gynecology
2018; 30 (6): 400–406
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
- Pericoital contraception CURRENT OPINION IN OBSTETRICS & GYNECOLOGY 2018; 30 (6): 400-406
- Postpartum intrauterine devices: clinical and programmatic review AMERICAN JOURNAL OF OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY 2018; 219 (3): 235–41
Postpartum intrauterine devices: Clinical and programmatic review.
American journal of obstetrics and gynecology
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
2017; 29 (6): 427–30
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