Sexual and reproductive health

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.

Countries need to do what works to improve contraceptive access, provision and choice for women and girls

Image of three adolescent girls jumping and smilling in a park, Russia.
WHO /Sergey Volkov

11 July 2017 | Women and girls have a human right to choose whether and when to become pregnant. When they do not have access to high quality contraceptive and fertility care services and information to help them plan their families, their health and well-being can suffer.

Continuous support during childbirth may improve health outcomes for women and infants

A local female health advisor tends to a pregnant woman at a health centre in India.

11 July 2017 | More women are now giving birth in health facilities, but poor quality of care can put their lives and well-being – and that of their infants – at risk. It is therefore crucial to ensure that women and their newborn infants are provided with respectful, high quality care throughout pregnancy and childbirth. One potential way to improve quality of care during childbirth in health facilities may be for women to be continuously supported by another person throughout labour

Increasing transparency of abortion laws and policies: launch of a new online database

23 June 2017: WHO and the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs have launched a new, open-access database of laws, policies and health standards on abortion in countries worldwide. The database aims to promote greater transparency of abortion laws and policies, as well as to improve countries’ accountability for the protection of women and girls’ health and human rights.

Can women who are at high risk of acquiring HIV, safely use hormonal contraception?

Health worker provides counselling on contraceptive methods to a couple, Papua New Guinea
WHO/Yoshi Shimizu
Health worker provides counselling on contraceptive methods to a couple, Papua New Guinea

2 March 2017: Since 1991, there has been mixed evidence as to whether using hormonal contraceptive methods increases a woman’s risk of acquiring HIV. To answer this question the World Health Organization (WHO) has continuously monitored the available evidence. In 2016, WHO commissioned an update of a 2014 systematic review of evidence to include new studies.

The updated evidence was examined in December 2016 at a consultation that included a wide range of stakeholders including global representation from clinicians with expertise in contraception and HIV, as well as representatives from affected populations, researchers and academics, epidemiologists, programme managers, policy-makers and guideline methodologists.



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.

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.

Request for proposals for case studies Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Humanitarian Crises

Through this call, WHO is requesting interested individuals, as well as international and national organizations, civil society networks, NGOs, Ministries of Health, and other entities which manage or implement policies, programmes and interventions on SRHR in humanitarian settings, to submit proposals to develop case studies that demonstrate successful approaches to service delivery and uptake.

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

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

Statement delivered on behalf of the World Health Organization to the UN 50th Commission on Population and Development

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

front page of statement

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.

VIDEO: Addressing violence against women: the health sector response

Search WHO guidelines on sexual and reproductive health

Stay informed

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