BMA report

Reproductive health and wellbeing

We highlight the importance of reproductive health to wellbeing, recognise the variation and differentiation in women's reproductive healthcare needs over the life-course, and call for an integrated health system response.

Location: UK
Audience: All doctors
Updated: Monday 7 September 2020
Topics: Population health
Public Health Article Illustration

What you will get from this report

  • An exploration of the three-pronged approach to reproductive health.
  • User-centred outcomes essential for advancing women’s reproductive health and rights.
  • Proposed actions for policy makers to advance reproductive health.


Key findings

  • Reproductive health is vital for wellbeing, to prevent morbidity and maintain economic productivity. It encompasses pregnancy-related health, some aspects of sexual health and health unrelated to pregnancy.
  • Age-appropriate education for reproductive health should start as soon as understanding develops and be continued into adulthood.
  • Universal care in reproductive health is important in meeting women's contraceptive, preconception, screening and menopause care needs.
  • Provision of socially or medically complex reproductive health care, such as fertility treatment, later abortion and menopause care, should be distributed in a way that prioritises those with the greatest need to help reduce inequalities in access and outcomes.
  • Current indicators of reproductive health are not adequate for measuring reproductive wellbeing at population level. New measures are being developed but further work is needed to evaluate and implement them.


  • Introduction
  • Defining the scope of reproductive health
  • Consensus process
  • Women's voices
  • Pillars of reproductive health
  • Positive approach and freedom from stigma
  • Knowledge and resilience for informed choice
  • Enjoyable relationships free from violence
  • Universal are delivered proportionately to need
  • Pathways into care
  • Information gaps
  • Moving forwards