Support teaching, research, and patient care.
Dr. Shaw specializes in complex family planning, contraception, abortion, early pregnancy management and general gynecology. As the Director of Gynecology and Gynecologic Specialties at Stanford, she values inclusive, compassionate, expert clinical care. She is passionate about medical education and shaping future physicians, supporting training programs for students, residents and fellows in her role as the Associate Chair of Education for Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is an active mentor and researcher with her clinical research aimed at improving patient experiences and access to comprehensive reproductive health care. Dr. Shaw is an advocate for her patients and health care locally, nationally and across the globe. She aims to partner with each patient to best provide the individualized care that suits their life and goals.
Contraception and Safe Abortion
My research interests include expanding access to and and improving patient experience with contraception and abortion care both domestically and globally. I am also interested in medical education and resilience among physicians and trainees.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation for Pain Control During First-trimester Abortion
First-trimester abortion aspiration procedures are painful and sedation is typically
provided. It is unsafe to drive after sedation due to the prolonged motor delay from some
anesthetic agents. Without a known escort, most clinics do not allow patients to use public
transportation, taxis, or rideshare services. Arranging a ride may be harder for those
seeking abortion care than other surgical procedures given privacy concerns and the need to
travel far distances. Additionally, some people have medical reasons that makes sedation in
an outpatient abortion clinic unsafe. As abortion restrictions increase and more people need
to travel far distances to access care, it is important to investigate non-pharmacologic pain
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) delivers a low-level electrical current
through the skin. By activating the descending inhibitory systems in the central nervous
system, these pulses of electrical current reduce sensitivity to pain. TENS has been shown to
be effective in decreasing pain with menstrual cramps and during medication abortion, and it
was found to be non-inferior to IV sedation for first-trimester procedural abortion. However,
it remains unclear if TENS is better than ibuprofen and local anesthesia via paracervical
The overarching goal of this research is to identify an inexpensive, non-pharmacologic,
alternative pain control strategy for those with a medical or social contraindication to IV
sedation. The specific aim of this project is to evaluate the efficacy of TENS to prevent
pain during first-trimester procedural abortion. To achieve this objective, a blinded,
randomized superiority trial comparing the use of TENS to sham for management of pain during
first-trimester aspiration abortion is proposed. This research is significant because the
validation of a non-pharmacologic pain management technique would decrease barriers to
accessing abortion care.
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Mifepristone for Labor Induction
The purpose of this trial is to explore mifepristone as an option for induction of labor at
term by evaluating the efficacy of mifepristone use for cervical preparation. Since the Labor
Induction versus Expectant Management in Low-Risk Nulliparous Women (ARRIVE) trial supporting
that elective induction after 39 weeks decreases cesarean sections and morbidity, rates of
elective term inductions are increasing.
At Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University specifically, approximately 40%
of spontaneous vaginal deliveries follow induction of labor, with an average induction time
of 20 hours. Previous studies have established the maternal and neonatal safety of
mifepristone in term inductions, however, this study will assess the difference in overall
time from induction to complete cervical dilation, delivery, and the total time on Labor and
Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial.
For more information, please contact SPECTRUM, .