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Survey seeks women’s views on reproductive health

Women in England are being encouraged to help shape reproductive health policy by sharing their experiences, as the government launches a landmark survey.

Findings from the survey will then be used to better understand women’s reproductive health experiences over time. The vital information gathered about the lives and experiences of women will inform current and future government decision-making and health policy.

There are currently disparities in women’s health across the country, and far too many cases where women’s voices are not being heard. Along with the strategy, the new survey will play a key part in changing this.

‘Women and girls deserve the best healthcare at every stage of their lives, but we simply cannot deliver that without listening to their lived experiences and concerns,’ said Minister for Women’s Health Strategy Maria Caulfield.

‘Women should always have a say in their own healthcare, whether that’s in managing pregnancy and fertility or dealing with the challenges of the menopause in the workplace.’

The survey is open to all women in England aged 16 to 55 years and will run for 6 weeks from Thursday 7 September 2023.

‘For most women, it can be nearly 40 years from their first period to menopause. Throughout this time, women should be able to make informed decisions about their own reproductive health and wellbeing, such as if and when to get pregnant and where to access appropriate support and treatment,’ said Dr Rebecca French, Associate Professor of Sexual and Reproductive Health Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

‘Women have previously described difficulties accessing reproductive health services - for example, to get contraceptive supplies, to access fertility treatment or to obtain an appointment with a gynaecologist. Often health services are not ‘joined up’, leading to multiple visits and appointment delays.’