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Prevention and empowerment

Our health and care services often fail to take a preventative approach to women's health.

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This results in missed opportunities to support women to access the care they need and make decisions that are right for themselves and their families.

We focus on unplanned pregnancies and contraception as examples. We also look at women’s health before, during and after pregnancy and consider how to better safeguard victims of domestic abuse and FGM.

In addition, we highlight the need for better prevention and early diagnosis of gynaecological cancers, and look at women's health during and after the menopause. This includes osteoporosis, pelvic floor health, cardiovascular disease and dementia.

Key recommendations


Post-pregnancy contraception should be a key part of the maternity pathway.

Access to the full range of contraception methods should be as easy as possible.

Better use of data

The data collected during pregnancy should be used more effectively to help identify indicators for future health.

Postnatal check

Improve identification of women at risk from mental and physical health issues with the 6-week postnatal check.

Violence against women and girls

End violence against women and girls via an improved collaborative approach, better IT systems and mandatory training with the NHS as an exemplar.

Cervical screening

Increase uptake in cervical screening amongst disadvantaged and marginalised women.

Gynaecological cancers

Improve early diagnosis and treatment of gynaecological cancers.

Workplace policies

Women’s health issues should be embedded in workplace policies.

Increase awareness of pelvic floor dysfunction

Create a Taskforce to consider ways of raising awareness of urinary and faecal incontinence and prolapse in women.

End the data gender gap

Tackle the gender data gap by funding more studies which focus on women’s health.

Read more about these key recommendations, or download the chapter and full report below.


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Download the chapter:
Prevention and empowerment (PDF)

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Download the full report: Better for women (PDF 5.6mb)


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