Lauren Ralph, PhD, MPH

Assistant Researcher, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences
Epidemiologist, Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health


Broadly, Dr. Ralph's research is dedicated to better understanding the drivers and consequences of unintended pregnancy among women worldwide, with a particular focus on adolescents and young adults. Her current work includes research on the longitudinal effects of being denied an abortion on women’s socioeconomic status, including:

  • educational aspirations and outcomes,
  • barriers to abortion care and the role that abortion restrictions have on women’s experience seeking abortion care,
  • innovative strategies to stimulate demand for contraception and broaden women’s contraceptive options, and
  • exploration into how the methodological challenges inherent to studying sexual health influence our interpretation of research findings.

She is also actively engaged in the ongoing debate on whether use of hormonal contraceptive methods increase women’s risk of HIV acquisition, having recently authored a meta-analysis summarizing the observational evidence conducted to date. Across all areas of research, she draws on a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods to answer research questions that can directly inform policy.



  • University of California, Berkeley, Masters in Public Health and Doctorate
  • University of California, Santa Barbara, Bachelor of Science