The June issue of ANZJOG will be with RANZCOG members by the time you read these words. A large and interesting range of research articles is included in this.
The issue continues the ANZJOG series of Current Controversies in obstetrics and gynaecology, with two opinion pieces from experts on the subject of planned vaginal breech birth. Andrew Bisits argues that ‘There is a place in current obstetric practice for planned vaginal breech birth ’1 and carefully discusses the advantages and risks involved, and the information that should be given to women contemplating an attempt at vaginal birth when breech is diagnosed. On the other hand, Sean Seeho and Tanya Nippita ask ‘Term breech delivery – is recommending vaginal birth a breach of best practice?’2 and in a meticulous dissection of current evidence come to the conclusion that planned vaginal birth should not be recommended. In the August issue, each side of the discussion has a right of reply; there is agreement between them on the nature of the evidence available, and on the need for women faced with this decision to be supplied with full and informed evidence about risks, but they continue to differ on the implications for women making a decision about planned vaginal breech birth. Together the four (referenced and peer-reviewed) opinion pieces give an excellent and up-to-date overview of this whole debate.
Also in the June issue, Goldstone et al report their findings from an observational cohort study of more than 13,000 women who underwent early medical abortion (EMA) using oral mifepristone and buccal misoprostol through the Marie Stopes group of clinics.3 This is the second large study from this group who have thus provided extremely valuable information about the practice of EMA in Australia since mifepristone became more widely available to women. Their findings – of low rates of serious adverse effects and continuing pregnancy – are very comparable to those of overseas studies; they demonstrate that EMA is a safe and effective alternative to surgical abortion for those Australian women who are able to access it. In an accompanying editorial, Black and Bateson address the question of the continuing barriers some Australian women do face when trying to access EMA;4 there is a need, they state, for more GPs and public hospitals to become involved in EMA provision. These authors also discuss the particular difficulties of access faced by women in rural and remote areas; their needs are, however, being met to an increasing extent through the provision of telemedicine by the Tabbot Foundation and some individual providers.
There are 16 original research articles on obstetric topics included in the June issue, reflecting the bias towards obstetrics in the submissions to ANZJOG. Topics include diabetes in pregnancy (three articles), hypertensive disorders, first- and third-stage management, medicine and diet in pregnancy, and questions regarding caesarean section (two articles). Among the original articles in gynaecology, Chuah et al discuss the ‘common, emotive and sometimes controversial’ topic of menstrual management and menstrual suppression in developmentally delayed young women;5 Bonner and Boyle look at specialist services managing female urinary incontinence in the Northern Territory, and find a need for greater service provision;6 and Petersen et al describe an algorithm developed to reliably predict treatment outcomes of medical management of missed miscarriage.7
We have received some preliminary figures from our publishers, Wiley, on ANZJOG’s performance in 2016. Somewhat disappointedly, I must report a slight fall in the Journal’s Impact Factor (IF) from 1.738 to 1.607; ANZJOG is now number 48 in the ranking of 80 journals in our discipline. Hopefully, the inclusion of some important and controversial topics in the latter part of 2016 will see the IF rise again in 2017.
We are certainly receiving a large number of submissions for ANZJOG; at the current rate, we will be close to 500 submissions by the end of the year. To cope with the subsequent increased numbers of high-quality accepted research articles, I have decided to include letters to the editor in the e-pages of the Journal, to enable them to be published as soon as possible following the appearance of the ANZJOG article to which it refers. These items still appear in the full table of contents of the print issue of the Journal together with a link to where they can be accessed online.
The August and September issues of ANZJOG will be reviewed in the Summer issue of O&G Magazine.