New consensus on reproductive health is launched by Government today – FSRH President Asha Kasliwal speaks about reproductive health in series of short videos

Posted 25 June 2018

Date: 25 Jun 2018

Type: Sexual and Reproductive Health News

Public Health England (PHE) launched today a set of three documents outlining a new, comprehensive definition of reproductive health, situating it firmly in the public health arena. FSRH has substantively contributed with this initiative and welcomes it. As part of the launch, FSRH President Dr Asha Kasliwal speaks about challenges to the delivery of SRH on a new edition of Health Matters, PHE’s information hub for evidence of what works in tackling major public health challenges.

PHE launched today a new suite of documents on reproductive health. The documents define the scope of reproductive health, provide a national overview of its current status and offer a clearer understanding of what women think about their reproductive health and the support they need.

This body of work will help set a shared agenda for action across Government and provide a framework for commissioners, providers and policy makers to inform local planning and improve outcomes across the life course. This will be the first cross Governmental action plan on reproductive health.  

Consensus statement

Reproductive health overlaps with but is not synonymous with sexual health. Following an extensive consultation with stakeholders across government and the reproductive health sector, including commissioners, providers, civil society organisations and policy makers, PHE has arrived at a new consensus statement anchored in a vision with six pillars of reproductive health. This new consensual definition should provide clarity and direction for individuals and organisations in this area. The six pillars of reproductive health are:

  • Positive approach
  • Knowledge and resilience
  • Free from violence and coercion
  • Proportionate universalism
  • User-centred
  • Wider determinants

National overview – what the data says

PHE provides a national overview of the current status of reproductive health. Overall, the data confirms that the groups that already experience disadvantage are more likely to experience poorer reproductive health outcomes. Use of different services vary by age and/or deprivation. Therefore, changes to services impact on individuals and communities differently.

Women’s voices – what women say

PHE also heard from focus groups in different parts of the country and an online survey of more than 7000 women. The survey illustrates women’s experiences with their reproductive health and reveals that 31% have experienced severe reproductive health symptoms in the last 12 months, ranging from heavy menstrual bleeding to menopause, incontinence to infertility. Yet less than half of women sought help for their symptoms, regardless of severity.

Health Matters

The three documents were launched today in a new edition of Health Matters, PHE’s hub for evidence on major public health challenges. FSRH President Dr Asha Kasliwal spoke about challenges to the delivery of reproductive health in a series of short videos:

The other videos can be found on FSRH's YouTube channel.