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Main messages

Sexual and reproductive health

  • Different religions and cultures have different beliefs and practices concerning menstruation, pregnancy, and childbirth. These can affect health and treatment compliance. Explore the patient’s beliefs and understanding
  • Enquire about past history of cervical and breast screening (where age appropriate) and provide information about the NHS routine cervical screening and breast screening programmes
  • Offer girls aged up to 18 years immunisation against human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • A sexual history is an important part of an overall health assessment. Consider whether the patient may require a full sexual health screen for sexually transmitted infections based on country of origin and sexual history
  • Sexual health promotion including safer sex advice is important to address with all sexually active people
  • Enquire about family planning requirements. Inform patients that contraceptive services are free and confidential
  • The practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) affects women from certain countries


Useful resources


NHS Choices: pregnancy

NHS Choices: testing for infections in pregnancy

Routine antenatal screening from Patient.info

Screening tests for you and your baby (English, easy read and 12 other languages)

Food Standards Agency advice on listeria

NaTHNaC advice on travel and pregnancy including malaria prevention

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: Malaria and pregnancy

Healthy Start patient leaflets

Pregnancy and maternity rights for Spanish speaking workers leaflet in English and Spanish from Maternity Action

Breastfeeding: Off to the best start

Healthy Start: information about the scheme for health professionals

Sexual and reproductive health

Family Planning Association Guide to contraception

NHS Cervical Screening Programme: leaflets to offer patients

Breast screening programme: leaflets to give patients

Genital warts and human papillomavirus (HPV): guidance, data and analysis

HPV immunisation schedules and leaflets to share with patients

Violence, trafficking, abuse, human rights

Contact the forced marriage unit (FMU) if you are trying to stop a forced marriage or need help leaving a forced marriage

See the guidance on forced marriage for professionals protecting, advising, and supporting victims

UKHTC (United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre) provides a central point for expertise and cooperation on the trafficking of human beings. Tactical advice and victim support available 24 hours per day, every day of the year 

The ‘Asian women, domestic violence and mental health’ toolkit by EACH (Ethnic Alcohol Counselling in Hounslow) provides background information on Asian women’s experiences of domestic violence, its impact on their health, and how health professionals can respond 

Forced marriage and honour based violence screening toolkit

Maternity Action: a national charity working to end inequality and promote the health and well-being of all pregnant women, their partners and children


Full guideline:

Public Health England. Women’s health: migrant health guide. PHE, 2017. Available at: 

Published date: 25 October 2017.