Sexual and reproductive health

WHO Statement regarding the use of misoprostol for postpartum haemorrhage prevention and treatment

World Health Organization, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, Department of Making Pregnancy Safer, Department of Essential Medicines and Pharmaceutical Policy

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Publication details

Number of pages: 2
Publication date: 2009
Languages: English
WHO reference number: WHO/RHR/09.18 - Web only


Postpartum haemorrhage is a major cause of maternal mortality. The World Health Organization recommends that active management of the third stage of labour must be offered to all women delivered by skilled birth attendants during childbirth to prevent postpartum haemorrhage. This package of interventions includes administration of oxytocin (10 international units by injection), clamping and cutting of the cord at around 3 minutes after birth, and delivery of the placenta by controlled cord traction. The objective of this statement is to explain current WHO position regarding misoprostol use after childbirth.

2010 WHO position on misoprostol