Dr. Shorter specializes in complex family planning, early pregnancy management, and general gynecology. She is committed to improving the continuity of care for patients with early pregnancy complications and serves as the Director of the Early Pregnancy Assessment Program. Her clinical research interests include improving patients’ experience with abortion and early pregnancy care, addressing reproductive health disparities, and promoting health equity.
- Family Planning
- Early Pregnancy Loss
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
Clinical Assistant Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology - General
Director of Early Pregnancy Assessment Program, Stanford University, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (2020 - Present)
Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations
Junior Fellow, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (2018 - Present)
Junior Fellow, Society of Family Planning (2018 - Present)
Fellowship: Penn Medicine Family Planning Fellowship (2020) PA
MSHP, University of Pennsylvania, Master of Science in Health Policy (2020)
Residency: Boston University Medical Ctr Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency (2018)
Medical Education: University of California Davis School of Medicine (2014) CA
Racial Disparities in Mental Health Outcomes Among Women With Early Pregnancy Loss.
Obstetrics and gynecology
OBJECTIVE: To explore the relationship between race and depression symptoms among participants in an early pregnancy loss clinical trial.METHODS: We performed a planned secondary analysis of a randomized trial by comparing treatments for medical management of early pregnancy loss. We hypothesized that Black participants would have higher odds of risk for major depression (measured with the CES-D [Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression] scale) 30 days after early pregnancy loss treatment when compared with non-Black participants. We analyzed the data as a cohort, with the primary exposure being race and secondary exposure being high adverse childhood experience scores (measured with the Adverse Childhood Experience scale). Our primary outcome was risk for major depression (score of 21 or higher on the CES-D scale) 30 days after early pregnancy loss treatment.RESULTS: Three hundred participants diagnosed with a nonviable intrauterine pregnancy from 5 to 12 weeks of gestation were randomized as part of the original trial from May 2014 to April 2017. Of 275 respondents included in this analysis, 120 [44%] self-identified as Black and 155 [56%] self-identified as non-Black. After early pregnancy loss treatment, 65 [24%] participants were at risk for major depression. Black participants had an increased risk for major depression (57%) after early pregnancy loss treatment compared with non-Black participants (43%; odds ratio [OR] 2.02; 95% CI 1.15-3.55). After adjustment for risk for baseline depression, adverse childhood experience score, and parity, the odds of risk for major depression 30 days after pregnancy loss treatment remained higher for Black participants when compared with non-Black participants (OR 2.02; 95% CI 1.15-3.55; adjusted OR 2.48; 95% CI 1.28-4.81).CONCLUSION: Overall, approximately one quarter of women who experience an early pregnancy loss are at an increased risk for major depression 30 days after treatment. This risk is about twice as high for Black women compared with non-Black women. There is a need for appropriate mental health resources for women undergoing early pregnancy loss care.CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02012491.
View details for DOI 10.1097/AOG.0000000000004212
View details for PubMedID 33278280
Opioid prescription for pain after osmotic dilator placement in abortion care: a randomized controlled trial.
OBJECTIVE: To compare the overnight maximum pain scores after osmotic dilator placement prior to a dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedure in participants assigned to a prescription for ibuprofen alone or to ibuprofen plus oxycodone.STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a non-blinded pragmatic, randomized controlled trial to evaluate pain management among women undergoing osmotic dilator placement prior to D&E. We randomly assigned 70 participants at 12 weeks 6 days to 23 weeks 6 days gestation to receive a prescription for ibuprofen alone, or ibuprofen plus oxycodone. We assessed pain using a numeric rating scale (NRS; scale 0-10) at the following time points: baseline, dilator placement, 2 and 6 hours, and pre-operatively, where we also asked participants their maximum pain score. The primary outcome was mean individual NRS pain score change from baseline to maximum pain score.RESULTS: Maximum mean pain score (change from baseline) was 4.7± 2.9 in the ibuprofen group, and 6.5± 2.5 in the ibuprofen plus oxycodone group (p<0.01). Participants in both groups reported highest NRS pain scores 2 hours after dilator placement, 3.9 ±2.5 and 5.3±2.6 respectively (p=0.02). Average ibuprofen use in both arms was similar, and 81% of participants used at least 1 dose of ibuprofen after dilator placement. Of those randomized to prescription to ibuprofen plus oxycodone, only 51% used a dose of oxycodone.CONCLUSIONS: Compared to participants randomized to receive a prescription for ibuprofen, those randomized to receive a prescription for ibuprofen plus oxycodone reported higher maximum overnight pain scores.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.contraception.2020.10.019
View details for PubMedID 33160908
Quality Improvement: Changing Patterns of Antibiotic Prophylaxis for Surgical Abortion.
Journal for healthcare quality : official publication of the National Association for Healthcare Quality
; 39 (5): e79–e83
Postprocedure infection complicates nearly 5% of abortions. Multiple organizations endorse prophylactic antibiotics to reduce infection risk with surgical abortion, but the adherence rate remains unknown for women who obtain antibiotics at a pharmacy and take them at home before their procedure. Our objective was to evaluate the effect of quality improvement interventions on antibiotic utilization and preoperative documentation for women undergoing surgical abortion at our academic institution.An initial quality evaluation of antibiotic utilization by women who had abortions in our operating room between April 2012 and June 2013 revealed suboptimal antibiotic adherence and poor physician documentation. To address these issues, we recommended patients to fill prescriptions at the pharmacy located in the same building as our clinic and created a standard preoperative template for the medical record. We reexamined outcomes for women having abortions from April 2014 to June 2015.Antibiotic adherence increased from 81% to 90% (p < .001). The proportion of patients not receiving antibiotics decreased from 2.4% to 0.5% (p = .01). Adherence documentation rates improved from 69% to 99% (p < .001).Using an easily accessible pharmacy and a standard preoperative template improves utilization of prophylactic antibiotics for patients undergoing abortions in the operating room.
View details for DOI 10.1097/JHQ.0000000000000074
View details for PubMedID 27984358
- Recent Advances in the Medical Management of Early Pregnancy Loss CURRENT OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY REPORTS 2020; 9 (2): 60–65
Gestational Trophoblastic Neoplasia After Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Normalization Following Molar Pregnancy: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.
Obstetrics and gynecology
2020; 135 (1): 12–23
To estimate the incidence of gestational trophoblastic neoplasia following complete and partial molar pregnancy after reaching normal human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels to guide evidence-based follow-up recommendations.MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, POPLINE, Cochrane, and ClinicalTrials.gov were searched from inception to November 2018, using the intersection of "gestational trophoblastic disease," "molar pregnancy," and "human chorionic gonadotropin" themes.Search results were screened to identify cohort studies of molar pregnancy reporting gestational trophoblastic neoplasia development, with at least 6 months of intended normal hCG follow-up.Two reviewers independently identified articles for inclusion. Data were extracted using a standardized form. For meta-analysis, cumulative incidence of gestational trophoblastic neoplasia, with CIs by the Agresti-Coull method, and pooled risk ratios (RRs) comparing complete and partial mole were calculated. Among the 19 eligible studies that reported adequate data for inclusion in the primary meta-analysis, we found low incidence of gestational trophoblastic neoplasia after normal hCG level following both complete mole (64/18,357, 0.35%, 95% CI 0.27-0.45%), and partial mole (5/14,864, 0.03%, 95% CI 0.01-0.08%). There was a significantly higher risk of gestational trophoblastic neoplasia after complete compared with partial molar pregnancy (RR 4.72, 95% CI 1.81-12.3, P=.002). Among gestational trophoblastic neoplasia cases after normal hCG level following complete mole, 89.6% occurred when the time from evacuation to normalization was 56 days or longer, and 60.7% were diagnosed beyond the commonly recommended 6-month surveillance interval. Sensitivity analyses, including those limiting to studies at low risk of bias, did not significantly affect results. We found an overall incidence of gestational trophoblastic neoplasia of 15.7% for complete mole (1,354/8,611, 95% CI 15.0-16.5%) and 3.95% for partial mole (221/5,593, 95% CI 3.47-4.50%).Gestational trophoblastic neoplasia development after normal hCG level following molar pregnancy is rare. Recommendations for frequency and duration of hCG follow-up can be minimized to lessen burden on patients and informed by the type of molar pregnancy and time interval from uterine evacuation to hCG normalization.PROSPERO, CRD42019116414.
View details for DOI 10.1097/AOG.0000000000003566
View details for PubMedID 31809433
Prioritizing Desiredness in Pregnancy of Unknown Location: An Algorithm for Patient-Centered Care.
Obstetrics and gynecology
Patient-centered care is one of the six aims for improvement in health care quality outlined by the National Academy of Medicine (previously known as the Institute of Medicine). We propose an algorithm for patients who are presenting with a pregnancy of unknown location that emphasizes pregnancy desiredness to improve patient-centered care. Health care professionals should assess pregnancy desiredness at a patient's initial consultation for evaluation of pregnancy of unknown location; desiredness, along with other clinical criteria, should guide management. For women with an undesired pregnancy, health care professionals should offer expedient active management. Uterine aspiration will allow for quick clinical diagnosis and resolution of the pregnancy. Alternatively, for women with a desired pregnancy or for those who are ambivalent, we recommend careful conservative management. Adopting this algorithm will recenter the patient in the complex management of pregnancy of unknown location.
View details for DOI 10.1097/AOG.0000000000004124
View details for PubMedID 33030869
- In Reply. Obstetrics and gynecology 2020; 135 (5): 1226–27
Management of early pregnancy loss, with a focus on patient centered care.
Seminars in perinatology
2019; 43 (2): 84–94
Early pregnancy loss is the most common complication in pregnancy. Management options for miscarriage include expectant management, medical intervention, or surgical aspiration. Non-surgical and surgical management are all safe and acceptable options for medically uncomplicated patients. Patient and provider preferences contribute profoundly to clinical decisions about miscarriage management. Shared-decision making and evidence based counseling have been shown to significantly improve patient satisfaction with early pregnancy loss care. This review article will discuss the epidemiology and risk factors of early pregnancy loss, current evidence and clinical practice guidelines around management options, and provider and patient preferences for early pregnancy loss management.
View details for DOI 10.1053/j.semperi.2018.12.005
View details for PubMedID 30739750
Second-trimester surgical abortion practices in the United States.
To assess whether second-trimester surgical abortion practices of U.S. providers agree with evidence-based policy guidelines.We conducted a cross-sectional survey of abortion facilities in the U.S. identified via publicly available resources and professional networks from June through December 2013.Of 703 identified facilities, 383 (54%) participated, including 172 clinicians providing second-trimester surgical abortions (dilation and evacuations [D&Es]). The majority of clinicians were obstetrician-gynecologists (87%), female (67%), and less than 50 years old (62%). Most clinicians (93%) ever use misoprostol as a cervical preparation agent, including in the setting of a uterine scar (87%). Some clinicians refer to a hospital-based provider if the patient has a placenta previa and a history of cesarean section (31%) or a complete previa alone (17%). Many clinicians have weight or body mass index restrictions for cases performed under iv moderate sedation (32/97, 33%) or deep sedation (23/50, 46%). Most clinicians (69%) who report performing D&Es at 18 weeks last menstrual period or greater do not routinely induce fetal demise preoperatively. Clinicians employ routine intraoperative ultrasound (79%) more commonly than routine postoperative ultrasound (47%), with no difference by years of provider experience. Most clinicians routinely use prophylactic uterotonic agents, most often postoperatively. Most clinicians (80%) routinely give perioperative antibiotics, most often doxycycline (75%).Overall, the second-trimester surgical abortion practices revealed in our survey agree with professional evidence-based policy guidelines. Wider variability was reported for practices lacking a strong evidence base.In this third cross-sectional survey of U.S. abortion practices (prior 1997 and 2002), second-trimester surgical abortion providers are younger than before, reflecting an improvement in the "graying" of the abortion provider workforce. Facility restrictions on gestational age along with hospital restrictions on referrals pose barriers to outpatient abortion access.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.contraception.2018.04.004
View details for PubMedID 29665357