Sexual and reproductive health

WHO updates recommendation on intravenous tranexamic acid for the treatment of postpartum haemorrhage

Maternity ward in Mongolia
WHO/Yoshi Shimizu

1 November 2017: Improving care for women around the time of childbirth to prevent and treat postpartum haemorrhage is a necessary step towards achievement of the health targets of the Sustainable Development Goals. Efforts to prevent and reduce morbidity and mortality associated with postpartum haemorrhage can reduce the profound inequities in maternal health globally. To achieve this, health-care providers, health managers, policy-makers and other stakeholders need up-to-date and evidence-based recommendations to inform clinical policies and practices.

Responding to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused

Image of the front cover guide
Photo: UNICEF/Asselin

19 October 2017: For the first time, WHO has published guidelines to help (primarily) front-line healthcare providers give high-quality, compassionate, and respectful care to children and adolescents (up to age 18) who have or may have experienced sexual abuse, including sexual assault or rape.

Women and girls continue to be at risk of unsafe abortion

28 September 2017: According to a new study published in The Lancet, by authors from the WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research, including HRP, and the Guttmacher Institute, an estimated 25 million (or 45%), of all abortions that occurred every year worldwide between 2010 to 2014 were unsafe.

How human rights help ensure high-quality contraceptive services

Haydee Lemus/Photoshare

26 September 2017: World Contraception Day | Recognition that human rights are of critical importance in the design and provision of contraceptive services and programmes is growing. How healthcare providers and facility managers ensure that human rights aspects are integrated into services is a challenge with many dimensions including the right of access to high-quality contraceptive services, autonomy and a choice of methods as well as the respectful provision of care. It is currently estimated that some 214 million women have an unmet need for modern contraception.

Gender inequality in early adolescence must be addressed for health and well-being throughout life

Group of adolescents in Bangladesh.
Ricci Coughlan/DFID

20 September 2017: When children move into early adolescence, they begin to take on new gender roles associated with femininity and masculinity, often reinforcing socially and culturally conventional gender norms related with being women or men. These gender roles have an impact upon the decisions that young people in early adolescence make, and therefore upon their health and well-being. They have an impact on the choices young adolescents make in relation to sexual and inter-personal relationships, which can have an effect on their health and well-being throughout the rest of their lives.

New programme reporting standards for sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health programmes

Mother and child resting at postnatal ward, Cambodia.
WHO/WPRO/Y Shimizu

14 September 2017 | Reporting on health programmes often covers what was done and not how it was done and in what context. This information is key to understanding impact and can facilitate successful replication and scale-up. To address this, WHO is launching new standards for reporting on sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health programmes at this year’s Global Evidence Summit in Cape Town, South Africa.

Shining a spotlight on maternal and neonatal sepsis: World Sepsis Day 2017

In the labour ward of a hospital in Bangladesh, a doctor examines a pregnant woman before her delivery.
Ismail Ferdous/Photoshare

12 September 2017 | On the eve of World Sepsis Day 2017, WHO and HRP have joined with the Global Sepsis Alliance to host the ‘World Sepsis Congress Spotlight: Maternal and Neonatal Sepsis’, a free online congress shining a spotlight on these neglected aspects of sepsis.

Engaging with youth for the promotion of peace

12 August 2017 | This year's International Youth Day takes the theme of “Youth Building Peace”.
Today’s generation of youth (defined by the UN as persons aged 18 through 29) is the largest the world has ever known and as such will have a major role in shaping the world of tomorrow. To this end, youth need to be actively engaged and invited to participate in the design and development of research and programmes that affect them. This was recognised by the UN Security Council in its 2015 resolution urging Member States to increase representation of youth in decision-making at all levels. Whilst the resolution focused primarily on global security, it is equally relevant for health.

Scientists warn that antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea is on the rise

image of youth in park
WHO /Sergey Volkov

07 July 2017 | Every day, more than 1 million sexually transmitted infections are acquired worldwide, and each year an estimated 78 million people are infected with gonorrhoea . New data from 77 countries show that antibiotic resistance is making gonorrhoea much harder – and sometimes impossible – to treat.



Women in the context of microcephaly and Zika virus disease

The risk of babies born with microcephaly has raised understandable concerns among women including those who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. There are many unknowns regarding the possible causes of microcephaly.


In the changing landscape of sexual and reproductive health and rights, research and evidence needs to be heard

The promotion, protection and fulfilment of sexual and reproductive health and rights

  • Read Statement
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    Statement by the HRP Scientific Technical and Advisory Group and the Gender and rights Advisory Panel

Partnerships and initiatives

African woman with her two children.

Reproductive Health Library (RHL)

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.


WHO Director General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus has recorded a special video message to call for greater measures to be taken to improve recognition, diagnosis and treatment of sepsis, and particularly maternal and neonatal sepsis.

Search WHO guidelines on sexual and reproductive health

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