Sexual and reproductive health

WHO releases revised recommendations for hormonal contraceptive use for women at high risk of HIV and women living with HIV

Mothers with children waiting outside a general clinic in Lesotho to receive ARV treatment

24 July 2014 – During the AIDS 2014 conference in Melbourne, the World Health Organization announced that following a review of existing epidemiological evidence, including new studies published since 2012, no changes to the Medical eligibility criteria for contraceptive use (MEC) recommendations for initiating or continuing hormonal contraceptives among women at high risk of HIV or living with HIV were warranted. Also, the revised guideline adds recommendations across classes of antiretroviral medications and the individual medications themselves.

WHO commits to stand against female genital mutilation (FGM) and child, early and forced marriage (CEFM)

22 July 2014 – WHO participated in the first Girl Summit in London. Organized by the UK Government, and co-hosted by UNICEF, the summit aimed to mobilize domestic and international efforts to end FGM and child, early and forced marriage within a generation. The summit invited dialogue and commitments from partner agencies, the private sector, religious organizations, civil society, and governments around the world.

WHO convenes meeting to review progress and look to future actions in sexual and reproductive health in Africa

Image of an African health-care provider in the field
WHO/Thierry Geenen

The Department of Reproductive Health and Research, together with the WHO Regional Office for Africa, convened a meeting in Brazzaville 8-10 July to review progress in reproductive health since the International Conference on Population and Development. The purpose of the meeting was to define critical actions for sexual and reproductive health in the African region beyond 2014. Key issues discussed during the meeting included: achievement of universal access; equity, equality and human rights; prevention of violence against women and girls, including child marriage; reducing unmet need for family planning; addressing adolescent sexual and reproductive health.

Obstetric fistula: Time to end the tragedy

An Ethiopian woman recovers from life-changing fistula surgery at the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Lucy Perry/Hamlin Fistula Relief & Aid Fund Australia
An Ethiopian woman recovers from life-changing fistula surgery, Ethiopia

23 MAY 2014 - International Day to End Obstetric Fistula. Obstetric fistula is the result of prolonged, obstructed labour. It leaves women incontinent, ashamed and often isolated from their communities. A debilitating condition affecting approximately 2 million girls across Africa and Asia. There are numerous challenges associated with providing fistula repair services in developing countries, including a dearth of available and motivated surgeons with specialized skills, operating rooms, equipment and funding from local or international donors to support both surgeries and post-operative care. Finding ways of providing services in a more efficient and cost-effective manner is paramount.


WHO and ICPD beyond 2014

Contributing to redefining the global agenda in sexual and reproductive health and an opportunity for the global community to address remaining challenges.

Stay informed

  • Subscribe to newsletter
    Monthly electronic newsletter of new publications, research articles and events from the Department of Reproductive Health and Research.

Reproductive Health Library

RHL takes the best available evidence on sexual and reproductive health from Cochrane systematic reviews and presents it as practical actions for clinicians (and policy-makers) to improve health outcomes, especially in developing countries.

Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality

The Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality Working Group invites comments on the draft paper "Strategies toward ending preventable maternal mortality". Comments may be sent to and will be accepted until 8 August 2014.

Knowledge to action (or implementation) seed grants: to support adaptation and implementation of WHO maternal and perinatal clinical practice guidelines in low- and middle-income countries

H4+ Working together for Women’s and Children’s Health

WHO and partners programmes UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women, and the World Bank work together as the H4+ in a joint effort to improve the health of women and children and accelerate progress towards achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 (reducing child mortality) and 5 (improving maternal health).

Logo of the third global symposium

30 Sept. to 3 Oct. 2014, Cape Town, South Africa