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Urogynaecology is a subspecialty of gynaecology that evaluates and treats conditions of the female pelvic organs, supporting muscles and tissues as related to urinary function. Some examples of urogynaecological conditions are pelvic organ prolapse, bladder problems, urinary incontinence, and recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI).


We aim to understand the experiences of people who have urogynaecological conditions and may have used or plan to use urogynaecological health services in the UK. We will use this learning to support patients, inform healthcare professionals, and help shape health services.

Why is this important?

Urogynaecological conditions can physically and emotionally impact on people's mental health, relationships, work, and social lives. There has been little research about experiences of urogynaecology health services in the UK. By listening closely to patient voices, better support and information can be offered and services improved.


We want to talk to people about what it has been like to have urogynaecological conditions, to see healthcare professionals, and to have treatments. We want to hear about a wide range of experiences. We are interested in talking to anyone with urogynaecological conditions, including those who identify as trans, intersex or non-binary. The interviews will take place online or over the phone.

How could THIS benefit patients?

We will use the interviews to develop an online resource on the website. This resource will give information and support based on what we learn from participants in the study. The website will summarise the key findings and, with permission, we will use participants’ own words and excerpts from their interviews. The Healthtalk resource can be used by anyone, including patients, their friends and families, healthcare professionals, charities, researchers and policy makers.

We will use the study findings to help inform and support healthcare professionals and policy makers to improve health services. We will make a short film for use in service improvement and present it at a final event for UK policy makers and other stakeholders. We will also publish our findings in high-quality journals and present them at healthcare conferences.

Related research

In a linked study (WEAVE) we are exploring GP perspectives on supporting women with concerns about menstrual and gynaecological conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome, menopause, and women’s cancers, whilst also providing scope for primary care practitioners to identify additional areas of important need.

We have done 46 interviews with primary care practitioners across England. One of our findings explores primary care practitioners experiences of help seeking among ethnic minority women for symptoms of peri/menopause. We reflected on these findings with 3 groups of ethnic minority women who illustrated the themes with their experiences.

Watch the 1-minute video

Listen to the podcast

Read the research

If you would like to know more about the study, please get in touch with the study team by emailing

Logo with text: PURSUE - People with urogynaecological conditions: understanding experiences.

Research team

Abigail McNiven
Senior Qualitative Researcher, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences

BA (Hons), MA, PhD (Dunelm) Abigail McNiven - Senior Qualitative Researcher

Francine Toye
Senior Qualitative Researcher, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


Ashley White
Qualitative Researcher, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences

MPH, PHD Ashley White - Qualitative Researcher

Sue Ziebland
Professor of Medical Sociology and Co-Director of MS & HERG, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences

Sue Ziebland - Professor of Medical Sociology and Co-Director of MS&HERG

Karen Barker
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Science


Matthew Izett-Kay
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


Sharon Dixon
NIHR In Practice Fellow, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences


Louise Locock
Professor in Health Services Research Unit, University of Aberdeen

Manar Marzouk
PPI Project Lead


Adam Barnett
CEO, HealthTalk

Further information

Full project title: 
A qualitative study of people's experiences of urogynaecology health services in the UK

Length of project:
March 2021 – December 2022

National Institute for Health Research, Policy Research Programme