16th ESC Congress – Ghent, Belgium

16th ESC Congress – Ghent, Belgium


Dear colleagues,
Dear all,

Yet again Covid 19 has stolen a march on us. Viral mutations are on the increase giving rise to uncertainty of public gatherings as vaccine roll out endeavours to meet the challenge. The health and wellbeing of our participants, speakers, sponsors, members and secretariat is our priority.

Unfortunately there are no certainties, and where the virus is concerned therefore the 16th Congress due to be held in Ghent on September 1st to 4th, 2021 will now not take place as we had hoped.

We, however, strive to meet the needs of our participants, membership and sponsors.

We, the Executive committee, miss the collegiate interaction with the membership & participants. We hope to address this through a virtual seminar which will take place on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th May 2021.

The seminar will be held over 2 half days so that our international participants & membership will have an opportunity to participate. The programme will be innovative and exciting —- something to look forward to in these dark times.

On a happier note – the Ghent Congress will now take place from 25th to 28th May 2022.

Registered participants and abstract authors will be contacted soon.

We will make it happen!

Take care, Mary
Dr. Mary Short
ESC President



The abstract submission deadline is 15 November 2021

Abstracts can only be submitted electronically through the online system at: https://app.oxfordabstracts.com/login?redirect=/stages/960/submission

The presenting authors, whose abstracts are accepted for presentation, must register for the congress and will be able to pay the early registration fee if the notification arrives after the early registration fee date.


The Organising and Scientific Committee  are pleased to advise that:

  • All those who submitted abstracts for the cancelled Dublin congress can have them transferred to the Ghent congress and they will remain in the original book of abstracts. All the authors who were allocated Free Communication or Poster presentations will have received a letter requesting that they complete the attached form and return to the Central Office stating whether they wish or not to attend the Ghent congress.
  • The congress will accept new abstracts and invites all those involved in any aspect of contraception, sexual and reproductive health to actively participate by submitting abstracts, either for oral or poster presentation.

All new abstracts will be evaluated and those accepted will be published in the Supplement of the European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care. As only a limited number of oral free communications can be accepted, authors are asked to indicate on their form whether they wish their abstract to be considered ONLY for oral free communication or poster presentation or for either option.

Topics for Free Communications and Posters

  • Cultural and ethnic diversity in a changing Europe
  • Contraception – all aspects
  • Sexual health and sexual infections – all aspects
  • Reproductive health pertaining to contraception and sexual health
  • The role of: sexual Identity: gender; sexual orientation; pornography; FGM; sexual dysfunction
  • The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on sexual health services and provision
  • Medico-legal issues; women’s, men’s and children’s rights; ethics
  • The use of the Internet in social media; knowledge; education; self-testing; internet governance; data protection; telemedicine
  • Service provision: roles and responsibilities of different health care professionals; new ways of providing services
  • Psychosexual and mental health aspects of contraception, sexual and reproductive health
  • Innovations, new discoveries and therapies in contraception and sexual and reproductive health
  • Abortion – all aspects
  • Contraceptive and sexual and reproductive health education and training of healthcare providers, users, family and friends – all aspects

Both qualitative and quantitative research is welcomed but not case reports, audit or historical reports.

Procedure and general policy

  • Original scientific material is welcomed and can have been previously published.
  • Abstracts presented at local, regional or national meetings may be submitted.
  • Abstracts must reach the online system not later than 15 November 2021. Receipt of the abstract will be confirmed.
  • Any person submitting an abstract who is already a first author for two previously accepted abstracts for Dublin will be permitted to submit one further abstract. Otherwise, if you have not submitted for Dublin you may be the first author of up to two new abstracts.
  • Authors will need to indicate their preference on the online form: oral communication only, poster only, either oral or poster.
  • Authors who wish their abstract to be considered for the best free communication, best poster presentation or for the James Trussell Award for Young Scientists Scientists, should indicate this on the online submission form. If there is no indication, it will be assumed the author does not want their abstract to be considered for a prize.
  • Abstracts will be evaluated (blind) by at least two referees.
  • Confirmation of acceptance or rejection by the Scientific Committee will be mailed to the author. Detailed practical information regarding the presentation will be included in the confirmation.
  • Accepted abstracts will be published in the Book of Abstracts of the Congress, Supplement of the European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care.
  • Authors are urged, if not native English speakers, to have their abstract read and corrected by someone fluent in that language. The writing style of the abstract will be checked by the publisher and the necessary amendments made. In view of the deadline for publication, it will not be possible to submit the aforementioned amendments for authors’ approval.
  • Presenting authors, whose abstracts are accepted for presentation, must register for the congress and pay the (early) registration fee. In the case of ‘no show’ at the time of the congress, the author may be blacklisted for the next congress.

How to submit an abstract?

  1. Abstracts can only be submitted electronically through the online system at: https://app.oxfordabstracts.com/login?redirect=/stages/960/submission
    Hard copy abstracts (sent by fax, email or post) will NOT be considered.
  2. As a first-time user, you will need to register. Please enter your email address. The system will ask you to create your account.
  3. Log in to the submission system. To log in, enter your email address and the password you chose when you first registered with the system (see 2).
  4. You will be taken to a screen from which the submission process starts. Please read the instructions on this screen carefully.
  5. Should you want to submit several abstracts, you have to login each time you want to submit an abstract.
  6. Please contact the administrator by email (nancy.habils@escrh.eu) if you have any problem with this process.

Typing and other instructions

  • Abstracts must be written in English.
  • The abstract must fit into the abstract frame (max. 400 words).
  • Type the title of the abstract in the first textbox.
  • Do not enter names of authors or affiliations in the abstract template as your abstract needs to remain unidentified (blinded) to the reviewers. As you will need to enter this information elsewhere online, the system will make the correct link between your name etc. and your abstract.
  • Preferably do not include references.
  • The text of the abstract should briefly state:
    • Objective(s): indicate the purpose of the study or the hypothesis that was tested.
    • Design & Methods: include the setting for the study, the subjects (number and type), the diagnosis or intervention, and statistical analysis.
    • Results: present as clearly as possible the outcome of the study and statistical significance if appropriate.
    • Conclusions: briefly discuss the data and emphasise the significance and possible impact to SRH.
  • Type the text of the abstract using the full width of the document.
  • Avoid the use of symbols.
  • Standard abbreviations are accepted in the text. Unusual ones should be in brackets after the word first appears. Do not use abbreviations in the title.
  • Please ensure that your abstract does not contain any errors in spelling, grammar or scientific facts.
  • You will be asked to declare any conflict of interest.

Abstract marking

All abstracts will be marked according to the following categories: design and scientific merit, originality, needs analysis, significance and possible impact on SRH. A similar process will be followed for marking free communications and posters.


If you wish your abstract to be considered for one of these awards you must detail this on the application form.

  • The James Trussell Award for Young Scientists (500 euro) will provide a special platform for oral presentations by young scientists.  New abstracts submitted for this award MUST be written and presented by the first author who should be under 35 years of age at 25th May 2022 and in a training, or a non-professorial, non-consultant grade. Those already accepted for presentation for this award and who would be 35 years or over or now in a non-training role at this date may still present.
  • Some abstracts will be selected as Free Communications (FC) and will mainly be Incorporated Into the congress sessions although some separate FC sessions may be held. These will be assessed for the FC award (500 euro or 2 x 250 euro if two winners).
  • Authors for the best poster award (500 euro or 2 x 250 euro if two winners) will be asked to make their poster presentation during designated lunch time and break sessions.

The Best Poster Award, the Best Free Communication Award and the James Trussell Award for Young Scientists will be awarded during the Closing Ceremony.

 Still have questions? Contact: nancy.habils@escrh.eu


The congress venue

Ghent ICC wants to bring together ideas, people, knowledge, culture, and entertainment efficiently and sustainably within the Citadel Park by developing MICE activities in an environment where heritage, service, knowledge, sustainability, and comfort are key. Ghent ICC turned the Citadel Park in a MICE venue with international appeal that functions as a hub in the city where everyone feels at home.

Gent ICC – international convention center
Van Rysselberghedreef 2 bus 1 – Citadelpark
B – 9000 Gent

CME credits

The request for European accreditation will be submitted to the UEMS/EACCME. The number of granted European CME Credits will be announced in due course.


In keeping with the majority EU members, Belgium has adopted the euro as its national currency.

Insurence liability

ESC does not accept liability for individual medical, travel or personal insurance and participants are strongly advised to take out their own personal insurance policies in their country of origin.


The congress language is English.

Public Safety

Ghent is a safe and welcoming city. The city is one of the friendliest in Europe and maintains a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.


Click here to go to the visa information page of the relevant Belgian Ministry.


While the weather can be changeable – it’s rarely extreme. In September, the averages are between 15 and 20°C.


Vibrant Ghent is well worth a trip. Quirky Ghent offers a fascinating cultural cocktail brimming with trendy, modern urban life. Ghent is a city where people enjoy life: a chilled-out place where anything goes and a city that feels human. Its friendly, welcoming people love the good life. Don’t miss the chance to admire the world-famous masterpiece—the Mystic Lamb by the Van Eyck brothers—during your trip.

So much Ghent: discover it yourself

‘The historic heart of Flanders’, ‘a city of all ages’, ‘Mediaeval Manhattan’ and ‘Europe’s best-kept secret’: the nicknames Ghent has collected over the years are as colourful as the city itself. Walk through the centre of Ghent and you will immediately see why it has won so many tourism prizes and earned so much international acclaim. Nowhere else can you flit so quickly from the 14th to the 21st century and back again, without feeling out-of-place for a minute.

Hospitable Ghent

In Ghent, everyone is welcome. There is something for everyone here, including the thousands of students who fill Ghent with youthful vibes every academic year. Why not discover a different side of Ghent with the ‘Sorry, not sorry’ street art plan of Ghent: a bike or walking tour of the city’s colourful graffiti. Ghent is also a progressive city that stands up for equal opportunities. Ghent is striving for equal treatment and more respect for LGBQT people. Ghent: a city built on solidarity.

The gastronomy rocks, mix & match

There’s always something to do in Ghent. Ghent is the historic heart of Flanders where you can shop, discover and taste to your heart’s content. Do you love great food? You’re in luck: Ghent is the veggie capital of Europe (according to Ghent’s inhabitants, of course), and its young, rock-star chefs are causing a sensation on the international food scene.

Interesting link: https://visit.gent.be/en


From Brussels Airport to Ghent

The International Brussels Airport is just under 45 minutes away from Gent ICC.

  • The train station at Brussels Airport is located directly under the departures and arrival halls, at level -1. The platform is easily reached by lift or escalator. There is a direct connection every half hour between Brussels Airport and Ghent St. Pieters station. From the St. Pieters station you can take tram line 1 to the historic city centre or walk from the Ghent St. Pieters station to Gent ICC is about 10 minutes. There are several bus lines that stop right in front of Gent ICC as well (see below). You can find more information here about the travel time between Brussels Airport and the Ghent St. Pieter station.
    The fee for a train ride from Brussels airport to Ghent is € 15,80
  • Taxi: you can arrange your taxi from the airport in advance: https://www.budgettaxi.be/bestellen.php?lang=EN
    There are always taxis with a time metre in front of the arrivals hall. Licensed taxis can be identified by the yellow-blue licence marks.
    The fee for a taxi from Brussels airport to Ghent is +- € 90

From Brussels South Charleroi airport to Ghent

Brussels South Charleroi airport is at a 70 minutes’ drive from Ghent. A shuttle bus drives from the airport of Charleroi to Bruges via Ghent nine times a day. That makes Ghent more easily accessible who arrive at the airport of Charleroi for their visit to Flanders. The bus will take you to the railway station Gent-Sint-Pieters, from where you can take tram line 1 to the historic city centre.

From railway station Gent-Sint-Pieters to ICC Ghent

  • By foot
    Gent ICC is just 10 minutes from the railway station Gent-Sint-Pieters by foot. When you arrive at the Ghent St. Pieters station, go to the right and exit via the “Koningin Astridlaan”. At the end of the “Koningin Astridlaan”, cross the “Kortrijksesteenweg”, and walk into the Citadel Park towards Gent ICC.
  • By bus to Gent ICC
    The following public buses have a stop in the “Ledeganckstraat” directly across from the Gent ICC main entrance: routes 34, 35, 55, 58, 70, 71, 72, 76, 77, 78. Check the De Lijn website fore more info.
  • Taxi: Taxis are waiting for you at the Gent-Sint-Pieters and Gent-Dampoort train stations, and at many other strategic locations around the city: Korenmarkt, Woodrow Wilsonplein (‘de Zuid’) and Flanders Expo. https://visit.gent.be/en/good-know/practical-information/getting-around/taxis

Local Transportation

  • The car-free city centre is tailor-made for the pedestrian and the cyclist. You can hire a bike from either of Ghent’s two railway stations (Dampoort and Gent-Sint-Pieters) or in the city centre. With the CityCard Ghent, you can even get a bike for one day for free!
  • Ghent’s public transport is well organised, with a wide network of trams and buses. The buses and trams in Ghent will take you to where you want to go from early in the morning until late in the evening: for free if you have a CityCard. The CityCard Ghent allows you to use all the trams & buses in Ghent without paying extra! What if you haven’t got a CityCard Ghent? You will find a ‘Lijnwinkel’, or ticket shop, at Gent-Sint-Pieters railway station, Korenmarkt and Gent-Zuid (Woodrow Wilsonplein) where you can buy tickets. Always buy your ticket in advance from the Lijnwinkel or a machine at the tram or bus stop. Tram lines 1, 2 and 4 take you from one end of Ghent to the other, passing right through the city centre.
  • Boat trips: Stretch your sea legs: the view of Ghent from the water is absolutely charming. Take a boat ride during your city break or weekend trip. There are various boat tours organised on the rivers and canals in Ghent. Travel back in time. Immerse yourself in the city of Emperor Charles V and discover hidden secrets.



The registration form and fees will become available soon.

Registration fees
All amounts will be expressed and payable in euro.


Dear Madam, Dear Sir,

We are pleased to announce the 16th Congress of the European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health (ESC), which will take place from Wednesday 25 to Saturday 28 May 2022 at the ICC Ghent in Belgium.

ESC congresses bring together some 1500 experts in the field of contraception, women’s health, and sexual and reproductive health care. The main audience is made up of gynaecologists, general practitioners, family doctors, midwives and nurse practitioners from all over Europe. ESC congresses address all new developments in the field of contraception and reproductive health care, attracting a high level of enthusiasm from both audience and speakers.

Please forward us your sponsorship comments and suggestions by email: info@escrh.eu or telephone: +32 2 582 08 52. We welcome, indeed, encourage you to join us in Ghent for an exciting and lively Congress!

A wide selection of support opportunities based on your suggestions will become available in the near future.

We can be reached at any time at the contact address below.

ESC Central Office
Ms Ria Maes
T +32 2 582 08 52

We hope to hear from you in the near future and look forward to collaborating with you.


The Congress is organised by The European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health (ESC)

Organizing Committee Members

Presidents of the ESC Congress Ghent 2021

  • Mireille Merckx (Academic Counselor at the University of Ghent)
  • Steven Weyers (Head of the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the University Hospital Ghent)


  • Olivier Degomme – Scientific Director of ICRH
  • Roland Devliegher – KWP President  VVOG
  • Gilbert Donders – BIG INF president VVOG
  • Patrick Emonts – GGOLFB President

Congress Secretariat
ESC Central Office
p/a Orga-Med Congress Office
Opalfeneweg 3
1740 Ternat
T +32 2 582 08 52
F +32 2 582 55 15

Scientific Committee

  • Short, M. (Ireland) – Chair
  • Bitzer, J. (Switzerland)
  • Bombas, T. (Portugal)
  • Cameron, S. (UK)
  • Furau, C. (Romania)
  • Grandi, G. (Italy)
  • Haldre, K. (Estonia)
  • Kopp Kallner, H. (Sweden)
  • Kubba, A. (UK)
  • Merckx, M. (Belgium)
  • Randall, S. (UK)
  • Ravn, P. (Denmark)
  • Toschi, M. (Italy)
  • Vatopoulou, A. (Greece)
  • Weyers, S. (Belgium)