This survey was conducted to determine the practice patterns of gynecologists in Canada regarding the discontinuation of oral contraceptives before gynecologic surgical procedures.
In May and June of 1997, surveys were sent to all obstetricians and gynecologists on the mailing list of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.
Of the 1472 surveys that were sent, 702 of the surveys were completed and returned, for a response rate of 48%. More than 90% of the gynecologists who were surveyed would advise their patients to continue using oral contraceptives before relatively minor surgical procedures and or =4 weeks before the surgical procedure, which is the minimum time required for the prothrombotic changes that are associated with oral contraceptive use to return to baseline. Less than 10% of the surgeons indicated that they would use low-dose heparin even when the patient was advised to continue taking oral contraceptives before major surgical procedures.
The controversy over whether young healthy women should discontinue oral contraceptive use before major surgical procedures that are associated with immobility is reflected by a lack of consensus among gynecologists in Canada.