Carolyn L. Westhoff, MD

Obstetrics and Gynecology
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Dr. Westhoff received her B.S. and medical degree from the University of Michigan and a Master’s Degree from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her clinical and research focus is on contraception, the development of new contraceptive technology, and the evaluation of current methods. Dr. Westhoff has served as principal investigator on numerous research studies and has published more than 250 peer-reviewed articles. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (Formerly the Institute of Medicine). In 2010, the Society of Family Planning recognized her accomplishments honoring her with a Lifetime Achievement Award. She is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology.

Dr. Westhoff's work focuses on improving quality of and access to contraceptive and abortion services. She has published over 200 scientific articles relating to safety and effectiveness of contraception and abortion. As a member of National Institute of Child Health and Human Development's Contraceptive Clinical Trials Network Dr. Westhoff develops new contraceptives using novel pharmaceutical agents. Recent trials evaluated microbicidal agents that can protect against HIV as well as against pregnancy. In addition, trials evaluate new and simpler ways to initiate contraceptive methods, and evaluate whether drug interactions interfere with contraceptive efficacy. Recent studies have evaluated the safety and effectiveness of early abortion using medications. All studies and projects welcome the involvement of public health students as well as clinicians. Dr. Westhoff serves as editor-in-chief of the journal Contraception, a monthly publication for the advancement of reproductive health. The journal, published by Elsevier, is the official journal of the Society of Family Planning and the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. Dr. Westhoff is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, and is Senior Medical Advisor to Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Areas of Expertise / Conditions Treated

  • Contraceptive Care
  • Family Planning Counseling
  • Intrauterine Device (IUD)
  • Pregnancy Termination

Academic Appointments

  • Sarah Billinghurst Solomon Professor of Reproductive Health in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Professor of Population and Family Health and Epidemiology at the Columbia University Med

Administrative Titles

  • Chief, Division of Family Planning & Preventive Services

Hospital Affiliations

  • NewYork-Presbyterian / Columbia University Irving Medical Center


  • French


  • Female

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Insurance Accepted

Affinity Health Plan

  • Essential Plan
  • Medicaid Managed Care


  • Medicare Managed Care
  • Special Needs

Amida Care

  • Special Needs

Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HealthPlus

  • Child/Family Health Plus
  • Essential Plan
  • Medicaid Managed Care

Fidelis Care

  • Child/Family Health Plus
  • Essential Plan
  • Medicaid Managed Care
  • Medicare Managed Care


  • Child/Family Health Plus
  • Leaf (Exchange)
  • Medicaid Managed Care
  • Medicare Managed Care

MVP Health Care

  • Child/Family Health Plus
  • Essential Plan
  • HMO
  • Medicaid Managed Care


  • Special Needs


  • Columbia University Employee Plan
  • Medicaid (Community Plan)


  • Medicaid Managed Care
  • Medicare Managed Care

*Please contact the provider’s office directly to verify that your particular insurance is accepted.

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • University of Michigan Medical School
  • Residency: Henry Ford Hospital
  • Residency: 1982 State University Of New York Downstate Medical Cen
  • Fellowship: Kings County Hospital Center

Committees, Societies, Councils

Past President, New York Obstetrical Society

Past Board Chair, Society of Family Planning

Past Member, Board of Directors, and past Chair, National Medical Committee, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Past Member, Board of Directors, the Guttmacher Institute

Past Member, Board of Directors, Association of Reproductive Health Professionals

Editorial Boards

Editor-in-Chief, Contraception

Board Certifications

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Honors & Awards

  • C. Lalor Burdick Award, National Abortion Federation, 2005
  • American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society, elected, 2006
  • Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, elected, 2007
  • Roy Pitkin Award, Best article in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2008 & 2011
  • NFPRHA Dr. Allan Rosenfield Award for Access to Quality Family Planning, 2009
  • American Women;s Medical Association, Women in Science Award, 2010
  • PRCH, Dr. Wm. Rashbaum Award, 2010
  • Society of Family Planning Lifetime Achievement Award, 2010
  • Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, Alan F. Guttmacher Lectureship Honoree, 2013
  • NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Most Impactful Article of 2013
  • Alliance for Continuing Education in Health Professions, Award for Outstanding Outcomes Assessment, 2016
  • Planned parenthood Federation of America/National Medical Committee, Michael S. Burnhill Lectureship, 2018


Research Interests

  • Child and Adolescent Health
  • Chronic disease
  • Community Health
  • Maternal and Reproductive Health

Selected Publications

Rivlin K, Westhoff CL. Navigating uncertainty: Narrative Medicine in pregnancy options counseling education. Patient Educ Couns. 2019 Mar 102(3):536-541. PMID 30385101

Teodoro N, Fu A, Ohly T, Shalev N, Matseoane-Peterssen D, Westhoff CL. Long-acting reversible contraception knowledge, attitudes, and use among HIV-infected and uninfected women and their providers. Contraception. 2019 Oct; 100(4):269-274. PMID: 31226320

Ndubisi C, Danvers A, Gold MA, Morrow L, Westhoff CL. Auricular acupuncture as an adjunct for pain management during first trimester abortion: a randomized, double-blinded, three arm trial. Contraception. 2019 99:143-147. PMID 30529393

Kohn JE, Simons HR, Della Badia L, Draper E, Morfesis J, Talmont E, Beasley A, McDonald M, Westhoff CL. Increased one-year continuation of DMPA among women randomized to self-administration: results from a randomized controlled trial at Planned Parenthood. Contraception. 97 (2018):198-204. PMID 29246818

Westhoff CL, Pike MC. Hormonal contraception and breast cancer. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Aug 219(2):169. PMID 29779566

Praditpan P, Hamouie A, Basaraba CN, Nandakumar R, Cremers S, Davis AR, Westhoff CL. Pharmacokinetics of levonorgestrel and ulipristal acetate emergency contraception in women with normal and obese body mass index. Contraception 2017 May; 95(5):464-469. PMID: 28126541

Morroni C, Findley M, Westhoff C. Does using the -pregnancy checklist- delay safe initiation of contraception?. Contraception 2017 Apr 30;95(4):331-4; PMID: 28131649

Raymond E, Blanchard K, Blumenthal P, Cleland K, Foster A, Gold M, Grossman D, Pendergast M, Westhoff C, Winikoff B. Sixteen Years of Overregulation: Time to Unburden Mifeprex. New England Journal of Medicine. 2017 Feb 23; PMID: 28225670

White K, Nucatola D, Westhoff C. Intra-fetal Compared with Intra-amniotic Digoxin Prior to Dilation and Evacuation: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Obstetrics and Gynecology 2016 Nov; 128(5):1071-1076. PMID: 27741192

Harper CC, Rocca CH, Thompson KMJ, Morfesis J, Goodman S, Darney PD, Speidel JJ, Westhoff CL. Reductions in pregnancy rates in the USA with long-acting reversible contraception: a cluster randomized trial. The Lancet 2015; 386(9993): 562-8. PMID: 26091743