English summary

Women’s sexual health in France: supply changes, professional practices and healthcare use

For decades, public policies have been concerned about women’s sexual health both at the international and the national level. Sexual health is usually defined as “a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality, and not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity” (WHO). Difficulties of access to sexual healthcare are indeed reported by French women and sexual healthcare status and consumption are still largely explained by socio-economic characteristics.

In France, sexual healthcare can be provided by gynecologists, general practitioners (GPs) and midwifes. The characteristics of these health professionals have strongly evolved since the early 2000s, especially with a drop in the number of gynecologists and the increasing skills of midwifes in gynecological follow-up out of pregnancy.

This project evaluate the effects of the changes in the supply of sexual healthcare on the professional practices and on the access to healthcare of women. We will first provide a typology of territories according to the characteristics of the supply and demand in sexual healthcare (WP1). We will then analyze the evolution of professional activities (volume, composition and coordination with other professionals) depending on where practitioners are practicing (WP2). Finally, we will analyze the evolution of sexual healthcare use in relationship with the evolution of the supply.

We combine a qualitative approach (interviews) with a quantitative analysis (using survey or administrative data) thanks to the skills of our pluridisciplinary team (economics, midwifery, geographic, sociology).