Karen Meckstroth, MD

Obstetrician and gynecologist

Dr. Karen R. Meckstroth is the director of the UCSF Women's Options Center. She is also a generalist obstetrician and gynecologist in the UCSF faculty division at San Francisco General Hospital, and is the consulting medical director at the Women's Community Clinic. Her academic interests include misoprostol, medical abortion and pain control with gynecological procedures.

Meckstroth earned a medical degree at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. She completed an internship and residency at the University of Southern California-Los Angeles County Women's and Children's Hospital, and a fellowship at UCSF in family planning clinical care and research. She earned a master's degree in health policy and management at the University of California, Berkeley, and completed advanced training in clinical research at UCSF in epidemiology and biostatistics.

Meckstroth is a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, a member of the regional advisory panel for Physicians for Reproductive Health, and a member of the Society of Family Planning. She is a clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at UCSF.

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University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine 1995


University of Southern California Medical Center, Obstetrics & Gynecology 1999


UCSF, Family Planning Clinical Care and Research 2001

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Upadhyay UD, Johns NE, Meckstroth KR, Kerns JL. Distance Traveled for an Abortion and Source of Care After Abortion. Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Aug 14.
  2. Frye LJ, Winikoff B, Meckstroth K. Claims of misoprostol use based on blood sampling should be viewed with skepticism. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2014 Nov; 127(2):125-6.
  3. Kerns J, Vanjani R, Freedman L, Meckstroth K, Drey EA, Steinauer J. Women's decision making regarding choice of second trimester termination method for pregnancy complications. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2012 Mar; 116(3):244-8.
  4. Newmann SJ, Dalve-Endres A, Diedrich JT, Steinauer JE, Meckstroth K, Drey EA. Cervical preparation for second trimester dilation and evacuation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Aug 04; (8):CD007310.
  5. Meckstroth KR, Mishra K. Analgesia/pain management in first trimester surgical abortion. Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Jun; 52(2):160-70.
  6. Meckstroth KR, Whitaker AK, Bertisch S, Goldberg AB, Darney PD. Misoprostol administered by epithelial routes: Drug absorption and uterine response. Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Sep; 108(3 Pt 1):582-90.
  7. Meckstroth KR. Physical examination before initiating hormonal contraception: what is necessary? Am Fam Physician. 2006 Jul 01; 74(1):32, 34.
  8. Goldberg AB, Drey EA, Whitaker AK, Kang MS, Meckstroth KR, Darney PD. Misoprostol compared with laminaria before early second-trimester surgical abortion: a randomized trial. Obstet Gynecol. 2005 Aug; 106(2):234-41.
  9. Goldberg AB, Carusi DA, Meckstroth KR. Misoprostol in gynecology. Curr Womens Health Rep. 2003 Dec; 3(6):475-83.
  10. Meckstroth KR, Darney PD. Prostaglandins for first-trimester termination. Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2003 Oct; 17(5):745-63.
  11. Jain JK, Dutton C, Harwood B, Meckstroth KR, Mishell DR. A prospective randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial comparing mifepristone and vaginal misoprostol to vaginal misoprostol alone for elective termination of early pregnancy. Hum Reprod. 2002 Jun; 17(6):1477-82.
  12. Meckstroth KR, Darney PD. Implant contraception. Semin Reprod Med. 2001 Dec; 19(4):339-54.
  13. Harwood B, Meckstroth KR, Mishell DR, Jain JK. Serum beta-human chorionic gonadotropin levels and endometrial thickness after medical abortion. Contraception. 2001 May; 63(5):255-6.
  14. Jain JK, Harwood B, Meckstroth KR, Mishell DR. Early pregnancy termination with vaginal misoprostol combined with loperamide and acetaminophen prophylaxis. Contraception. 2001 Apr; 63(4):217-21.
  15. Meckstroth KR, Darney PD. Implantable contraception. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2000 Dec; 27(4):781-815.
  16. Jain JK, Meckstroth KR, Park M, Mishell DR. A comparison of tamoxifen and misoprostol to misoprostol alone for early pregnancy termination. Contraception. 1999 Dec; 60(6):353-6.
  17. Jain JK, Meckstroth KR, Mishell DR. Early pregnancy termination with intravaginally administered sodium chloride solution-moistened misoprostol tablets: historical comparison with mifepristone and oral misoprostol. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1999 Dec; 181(6):1386-91.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.