Sexual and reproductive health

What works to improve young people’s sexual and reproductive health

Photo of adolescents in Asia region
Juan Daniel Torres, Courtesy of Photoshare

22 August: New research published today shows that there are number of intervention studies which can help to improve health outcomes in young people (ages 10-24), but there is no single action or intervention which can work for all young people, to address all of their needs. While several high-quality studies were found, they may only be applicable in specific settings for specific outcomes. More evidence is needed to show whether they can apply to other settings or help to improve additional sexual and reproductive health outcomes for young people.

Comments sought for a Global Accelerated Action for Adolescent Health (AA-HA!) Framework

7-28 March 2016 - Online survey - To support planning, implementation and monitoring of a SURVIVE, THRIVE and TRANSFORM response to the health needs of adolescents in line with Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030) and its Operational Framework, WHO and partners are developing a Global Accelerated Action for the Health of Adolescents (the Global AA-HA! Framework). Comments are now sought for initial inputs into the Framework, from representatives of government, civil society, the private sector, academia, youth groups, and from individual citizens. The online survey is open from 7-28 March 2016.

The power of girls: ensuring health, unlocking potential

Maasai tribe classmates play in a schoolyard.
Jonathan Torgovnik

11 October 2015 – This year’s International Day of the Girl Child celebrates the incredible potential of adolescent girls worldwide, and recognises their right to a ‘safe, educated and healthy life, not only during these critical formative years, but also as they mature into women’.

Research and action needed for adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights

Girl kissing boyfriend on cheek, Ukraine
WHO/Hauranitai Shulika

GENEVA 18 December 2014 - There is growing recognition of the importance of addressing the sexual and reproductive health and rights of adolescents and young people. According to a WHO-led Special Supplement in the Journal of Adolescent Health – published online today – which marks the twentieth anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development, efforts must be intensified to ensure that the sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents (10-19 years) and young people (10-24 years) are met and their rights fulfilled.


Strategic areas of work

  • Addressing the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents
    Key areas of work for the Department of Reproductive Health and Research
  • Overcoming barriers to adolescent health education and services
    When national Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health strategies are not implemented effectively, adolescents and young people are unable to obtain the sexuality and reproductive health education they need in their schools and communities, and sexual and reproductive health services they need from health facilities in their communities. The result is unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions and STIs including HIV infection.

Related links

Sample core instruments

These instruments are intended to be no more than a starting point for investigators wishing to study the sexual and reproductive health of young people. Authors caution that these instruments should always be adapted to local circumstances and research priorities and, wherever possible, be used in conjunction with each other.

Joining forces to prevent early marriage

TEDx Talks

Why we shouldn’t shy away from sexual education
Dr V. Chandra-Mouli, WHO/HRP

WHO Media Centre

Key note address delivered by Dr Marleen Temmerman Viewing Gender, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Very Young Adolescents through a Wide Angle Lens.