Sexual and Reproductive Health
We believe that everyone should be able to choose whether and when to have children. We are world-leading experts in preconception health and pregnancy planning. Our work supports informed contraceptive and reproductive choices to improve the planning and preparation for, or prevention of, pregnancy.
In this vision, conversation about about planning for pregnancy and parenthood, in society, schools and healthcare, are routine and we aim to inform national policy in this area. We have particular strength and expertise in the measurement of pregnancy intentions and are working towards the implementation of national surveillance systems of unplanned pregnancy and preconception health.
We aim to support women on their journey through the reproductive lifecourse in making reproductive decision and having healthy pregnancies and children. To this end, our current research falls into three main areas: supporting choice of contraception; understanding and measuring pregnancy planning; and improving preconception health and care.
Our research is multi-disciplinary, drawing on our skills in epidemiology, social science, public health, clinical medicine, statistics and psychometrics (measurement), and qualitative research. We have close working relationships with the National Health Service (NHS) and other sexual and reproductive health services, as well as with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID), industry and other sectors relevant to the wider determinants of health.
Our work has changed policy concerning health before pregnancy through an impactful Lancet Series on preconception health (2018) which informed Public Health England's Stratgey Making the Case for Preconception Health and led to the first national report card for monitoring the nation's preconception health Lancet 2019 REF and Report Card REF. The development of the ‘Contraceptive Choices’ website has been hugely successful and is widely used by clinicians and women across the country and internationally. We have pioneered a lifecourse approach to women’s reproductive health which has underpinned the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology’s Better for Women Report, the Chief Medical Officer’s Report and the national Women’s Strategy.
We are developing the research capacity of the next generation of researchers in the field through our support of clinical academic sexual and reproductive health junior doctors, PhD and Masters students. We welcome expressions of interest from potential PhD students in line with our current programme of work.
We are committed to patient and public involvement and engagement, for example recent work includes developing an understanding the public’s awareness of ‘preconception health’. We have an active patient and public involvement group advising on our work on pregnancy planning. We are always keen to hear from people interested in our research; please feel free to get in touch with any of the team.
Find out more about our research by clicking on the areas below.