About Dr. Kate

About Me

I’m a practicing gynecologist, the Vice-Chair of Academics and the director of the Fellowship in Family Planning at Boston Medical Center, and an associate professor of OB/GYN at the Boston University School of Medicine.

Officially, my job is to oversee the education of fellows, residents and students in OB/GYN, to run the BEACON family planning research unit, to write grant proposals, and to provide excellent clinical care.

But really? I teach women how to better understand their bodies. I help women be unafraid of seeing the doctor, and to arm them with questions to ask. I empower women with the information they need to make the best choices for themselves and their lives. I speak English, not Doctor.

Katharine O’Connell White, M.D., M.P.H. is an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Boston University School of Medicine and the Vice-Chair of Academics in the OB/GYN department at Boston Medical Center. She received her undergraduate degree from Duke University, her medical degree from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, and her master’s in public health from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at University of Massachusetts Medical School—Baystate Medical Center and her fellowship in family planning at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She is a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and of the Society of Family Planning, and a member of the American Public Health Association.

A board-certified OB/GYN, Dr. Kate has been taking care of women for more than 20 years, helping them navigate periods, childbirth, and every other stage leading up to menopause. She also conducts research in contraception, has been continuously grant-funded for 15 years, and has over 30 peer-reviewed publications. She teaches fellows, residents, and medical students, and has received numerous teaching awards for commitment to medical education. She is a sought-after speaker, and frequently lectures regionally and nationally on topics related to women’s reproductive health.

When I was a teenager, I got all of my information about sex and health from Glamour and Cosmo and Seventeen. I know that many girls and women also get their questions answered this way. So I love any opportunity to talk about sex, health, and birth control with the media. If we’re all gonna turn to Google to get health information, I want it to be the right information!

The Everygirl. Everything You’ve Ever Secretly Wondered About Discharge

SustainNatural. So, How Often Should You *Really* Be Tested for STIs?

StayTeen.org. Ask the Gyno: Side Effects

StayTeen.org. 5 Things You Should Know When Talking to Your Doctor About S-E-X

Greatist. Does It Matter What Kind of Underwear You Wear During a Workout?

Well+Good. OK, TMI…What Happens When You Take the Morning After Pill?

Well+Good. Why the IUD Is Suddenly Queen of the Contraceptive World

Glamour. How to Be Prepared If Roe v. Wade Is Overturned

Insider. 5 signs your period may not be ‘normal’

Refinery29. How to Talk To Your Doctor About Sex Injuries

Elle. What It’s Like to Get an IUD as a Virgin

Elle. Doctors Answer Every Little Question You Have About Getting An IUD

Romper. 9 Creepiest Old Wives’ Tales About Pregnancy & Birth

Refinery29. What You Need To Know About This ‘Stealthy’ STI

Health. How to Buy the Morning-After Pill without Setting Foot in a Pharmacy

Health. 5 Things Your Gynecologist Is Really Thinking During Your Checkup

Romper. 7 questions OB-GYNs say you think you know the answers to but likely don’t

Refinery29. How bad is it to leave a tampon in too long?

Yahoo! Chrissy Teigen Just Shared a Photo of Herself Steaming Her Vagina on Instagram

Refinery29. Does the size of your areola mean literally anything?

Insider. You should always put your Nuvaring in the fridge—and the reason why makes total sense

Contemporary OB/GYN. Addressing Physician and Patient Myths Regarding Long Acting Reversible Contraception

Refinery29. Can birth control pills expire?

Insider. All emergency contraception doesn’t work for everyone—here’s how to figure out what you should take

Tone it Up. Love Your Body with Doc Appointments

Health. Is It Safe to Have Sex with the Flu?

SheKnows. Sexual Health in Your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s & Beyond

TheList.com. Birth control mistakes you never knew you were making

Prevention. Could A Yeast Infection Be An Early Sign of This Common Disease?

Glamour UK. All the questions you have about your period: ANSWERED.

Health. The 5 Ways Your Boobs Change Throughout the Month

Shape. 8 OB-GYNs share their biggest fears for the next 4 years

Self. 6 Ways You Can Still Get Pregnant After Taking Emergency Contraception

Self. These Little Bumps in Your Vagina Could Be Why You’re Spotting

Glamour. Why am I bleeding?

The Week. Does hormonal birth control make women depressed?

EliteDaily. This is exactly what chlamydia and gonorrhea feel like

EliteDaily. Why Millennial Men Are Getting Fewer STD Tests Than Women

EliteDaily. A Scary Amount of Millennials Are Not Getting STD Tests, Our New Survey Finds

HerCampus. The Best and Worst States for Young Women to Live In

Health. 10 Secrets Your Doctor Wants You to Know

Reuters. Longer supply may help women stick with the Pill

Medscape. Providing More Contraceptive Packs Improves Continuation Rate

Chicago Tribune. There’s something I have to tell you

TIME. What women need to know about birth control

Glamour. What to do when sex hurts

Glamour. An ob-gyn explains what’s really going on down here

As part of my work, I conduct research studies in family planning I help develop new birth control methods, explore how better to use the methods we have, and discover how doctors can provide better care for all women.

Original, Peer-Reviewed Articles (selection)

Brandi K, Morgan JR, Paasche-Orlow MK, Perkins RB, White KO. Obstetrical outcomes after failed hysteroscopic and laparoscopic sterilization procedures. Obstet Gynecol 2018;131(2):253-261. PMID: 29324606

Lavelanet AF, Rybin D, White KO. The pharmacokinetics of 12-week continuous contraceptive patch use. Contraception 2017;95(6):578-585. PMID: 28285154

Goff SL, Mazor KM, Guhn-Knight H, Budway YY, Murphy L, White KO, Lagu T, Pekow PS, Priya A, Lindenauer PK. Factors that matter to low-income and racial/ethnic minority mothers when choosing a pediatric practice: a mixed methods analysis. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities 2017;4(6):1051-1060. PMID: 28275998

Goff SL, Mazor KM, Pekow PS, White KO, Priya A, Lagu T, Guhn-Knight H, Murphy L, Budway YY, Lindenauer PK. Patient navigators and parent use of quality data: a randomized trial. Pediatrics. 2016;138(4):e20161140. PMID: 27600316, PMCID: PMC5051210

Goff SL, Pekow PS, White KO, Lagu T, Mazor KM, Lindenauer PK. Successful strategies for practice-based recruitment of racial and ethnic minority pregnant women in a randomized controlled trial: the IDEAS for a healthy baby study. J Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities 2016;3(4):731-737. PMID: 27068662, PMCID: PMC5064805

Beasley A, White KO, Cremers S, Westhoff CL. Randomized clinical trial of self versus clinical administration of subcutaneous depot medroxyprogesterone acetate. Contraception 2014;89(5):352-6. PMID: 24656555, PMCID: PMC4086940

Goff SL, Pekow PS, White KO, Lagu T, Mazor KM, Lindenauer PK. IDEAS for a healthy baby – reducing disparities in use of publicly reported quality data: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials 2013;14(1):244. PMID: 23919671, PMCID: PMC3751013

Hall K, Reame N, White KO, Rickert V, Westhoff C. An exploratory analysis of associations between eating disordered symptoms, perceived weight changes and oral contraceptive discontinuation among young minority women. J Adolesc Health 2013;52(1):58-63. PMID: 23260835, PMCID: PMC3530081

Hall K, Reame N, White KO, Rickert V, Westhoff C. Influence of depressed mood and psychological stress symptoms on perceived oral contraceptive side effects and discontinuation in young minority women. Contraception 2012;86(5):518-25. PMID: 22673038, PMCID: PMC3440521

White KO, Westhoff C. The effect of pack supply on oral contraceptive pill continuation: a randomized controlled trial. Obstet Gynecol 2011;118(3):615-622. PMID: 21860291

Hall KS, White KO, Reame N, Westhoff C. Studying the use of oral contraception: a review of measurement approaches. J Women’s Health 2010;19(12):2203-2210. PMID: 21034277, PMCID: PMC2990281

O’Connell K, Westhoff CL. Pharmacology of hormonal contraceptives and acne. Cutis 2008;81(supp1):8-12. PMID: 18338652

Thiboutot DM, Harper JC, O’Connell K, Rich P, Sondheimer SJ. Improving outcomes through collaboration. Cutis 2008:81(1 Suppl):26-31. PMID: 18340677

Mansel R, Goyal A, Nestour EL, Masini-Eteve V, O’Connell K. Afimoxifene (4-OHT) Breast Pain Research Group. A phase II trial of Afimoxifene (4-hydroxytamoxifen gel) for cyclical mastalgia in premenopausal women. Breast Cancer Research & Treatment 2007;106(3):389-97. PMID: 17351746

O’Connell K, Davis AR, Kerns J. Oral contraceptives: side effects and depression among adolescent girls. Contraception 2007;75(4):299-04. PMID: 17362710

O’Connell K, Davis AR, Westhoff CL. Self-treatment patterns among adolescent girls with dysmenorrhea. J Ped Adolesc Gynecol 2006;19(4):285-289. PMID: 16873033

Davis AR, Osborne LM, O’Connell K, Westhoff CL. Challenges of conducting a placebo-controlled trial for dysmenorrhea in adolescents. J Adol Health 2006;39(4):607-609. PMID: 16982402

O’Connell K, Osborne LM, Westhoff CL. Measured and reported weight change for women using a vaginal contraceptive ring versus a low-dose oral contraceptive. Contraception 2005;72(5):323-327. PMID: 16246655

Davis AR, Westhoff CL, O’Connell K, Gallagher N. Oral contraceptives for dysmenorrhea in adolescent girls: a placebo-controlled randomized trial. Obstet Gynecol 2005;106(1):97-104. PMID: 15994623

Editorials and Invited Critical Reviews:

Castaño P, White KO. Should we do more to improve oral contraceptive continuation? Women’s Health 2013;9(2):145-156. PMID: 23477321

White, KO. Update on contraception. Semin Repro Med 2010;28(2):93-94. PMID: 20352557

O’Connell K, Burkman RT. The transdermal contraceptive patch—an updated review of the literature. Clin Obstet Gynecol 2007;50(4):918-926. PMID: 17982334

Chapters and Books:

White KO, Castaño P. Surgical Management of Ectopic Pregnancy. In Te Linde’s Operative Gynecology, 12th Handa V and Van Le L. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer, 2019.

Burkman RT and White KO. Contraception. In Clinical Gynecology, 2nd Bieber EJ, Sanfilippo JS, Horowitz IR and Shafi MI. Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Gebbe A and O’Connell White K. Fast Facts: Contraception. 3rd edition. Oxford, UK: Health Press. Published February 2009.

Invited Guest Editorship:

White KO (ed): Seminars in Reproductive Medicine: Update on Contraception. 2010:28(2).