Sexual and reproductive health

Updated and expanded guidance for family planning providers worldwide

Woman receiving family planning counselling, Senegal.
Jonathan Torgovnik

13 February 2018: Crucial to the success of family planning efforts worldwide is a well-educated and trained health workforce, and for whom, this new edition of Family Planning: A Global Handbook for Providers, commonly known as the FP Global Handbook has been published today.

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.

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.

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.

WHO issues new selected practice recommendations for contraceptive use

14 December 2016 : This publication is one of WHO’s evidence-based guidance documents to support and strengthen national contraceptive/family planning programmes. It serves as a companion piece to Medical eligibility criteria for contraceptive use (MEC) which focuses on who can use contraceptive methods safely, providing guidance on the safety of various contraceptive methods in the context of specific health conditions and characteristics. This new guideline, Selected practice recommendations for contraceptive use, looks more at how to use contraceptive methods safely and effectively.

WHO releases new fact sheets on adolescent contraceptive use

A Youth to Youth group in Mombasa, Kenya, go for a community outreach on the beach.
Jonathan Torgovnik
A Youth to Youth group in Mombasa, Kenya, go for a community outreach on the beach.

16 December 2016 - WHO has launched a set of fact sheets which disaggregate existing data to highlight key information on the use and non-use of contraceptives by adolescents (ages 15-19) in 58 low and middle-income countries across the world.

Funding contraceptive programmes effectively. What the evidence says and what next.

15 December 2016 : The need to provide cost-effective contraceptive programmes that expand access, reduce unmet need, and consider the specific needs of the poor and marginalized population is central to the achievement of a number of the Sustainable Development Goals. Five WHO-commissioned systematic reviews, published as a special supplement of Studies in Family Planning, look at what is known and what lessons can be learned about financing mechanisms for contraceptive programmes.

Hormonal contraception and the risk of HIV acquisition in women

A community health worker is providing two women with counseling and family planning information.
Jonathan Torgovnik

August 9 2016: The World Health Organization will convene an expert review group later in 2016 to examine the links between the use of various hormonal contraceptive methods and women’s risk of HIV acquisition. The expert review group will assess whether current WHO guidance needs to change in the light of a new review of data, commissioned by WHO and published today in AIDS.

Fact sheet

214 million women of reproductive age in developing regions who want to avoid pregnancy are not using a modern contraceptive method.

Emergency contraception

Online curriculum components and tools to deliver family planning training

The tools can be used by facilitators and curriculum developers to design, implement and evaluate high-quality training and education in FP/RH. The development has been by led by WHO, UNFPA, USAID and other partners and agencies.

- Training Resource Package for Family Planning (TRP)



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  • Implementing best practices (IBP)
    The IBP Consortium is composed of 45 partner organizations and is dedicated to strengthening the capacity of the family planning/reproductive health community to identify, implement, and scale-up effective practices through sharing knowledge and resources.