Gynecologic Care in Women With Down Syndrome: Findings From a National Registry

Anna J.B. Smith, Jeremy Applebaum, Edward J. Tanner, George T. Capone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE:To estimate receipt of recommended gynecologic care, including cancer screening and menstrual care, among women with Down syndrome in the United States.METHODS:We conducted a retrospective cohort study of women participating in DS-Connect, the National Institute of Health's registry of women with Down syndrome. Using 2013-2019 survey data, we estimated the proportion of women receiving recommended age-appropriate well-woman care (Pap tests, mammogram, breast examination, pelvic examination) and compared receipt of gynecologic care to receipt of other preventive health care. We also estimated proportion receiving care for menstrual regulation.RESULTS:Of 70 participants with Down syndrome, 23% (95% CI 13-33) of women received all recommended gynecologic components of a well-woman examination. Forty-four percent (95% CI 32-56) of women aged 18 years and older reported ever having a gynecologic examination, and 26% (95% CI 15-37) reported ever having a Pap test. Of women aged 40 years or older, 50% (95% CI 22-78) had had a mammogram. Fifty-two percent (95% CI 41-65) had tried medication for menstrual regulation, and 89% (95% CI 81-96) received all recommended components of nongynecologic routine health care.CONCLUSION:Women with Down syndrome received gynecologic care, including cancer screening, at lower-than-recommended rates and at substantially lower rates than other forms of health care. Efforts to improve gynecologic care in this vulnerable population are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)518-523
Number of pages6
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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