Sexual and reproductive health

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Researchers in Guinea are turning evidence into impact, improving the experience of women in childbirth

15 May 2020│ In October 2019, new research from a WHO-led study in four countries showed that more than one-third of women experienced mistreatment during childbirth in health facilities. The coordinating institute in Guinea (CERREGUI), with support from WHO/HRP and the HRP Alliance, is working in in partnership to implement recommendations at the national level to reduce mistreatment of women during childbirth.

Massive proportion of world’s population are living with herpes infection

1 May 2020│ About half a billion people worldwide are living with genital herpes, and several billion have an oral herpes infection, new estimates show. Published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, the new study estimates the global infection prevalence and incidence of herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 in 2016.

Maternal infections in health facilities: A clearer picture of the global impact

27 April 2020 │ New research from the Global Maternal Sepsis Study (GLOSS), a major WHO/HRP initiative, shows that infection has a much larger impact on global maternal mortality and morbidity than previously thought. The results from GLOSS, published in The Lancet Global Health, are the first to provide data on frequency of maternal infections and sepsis across the pregnancy and post-pregnancy period, in a large number of health facilities around the world.

What matters to women in the postnatal period?

22 April 2020 | WHO is developing new guidelines for a positive experience of postnatal care, due to be published next year. To inform these guidelines and ensure that postnatal services can better meet the needs of women and their babies, WHO undertook a qualitative systematic review on what matters to women in the postnatal period. What matters to women in the postnatal period: A meta-synthesis of qualitative studies,’ published in PLOS ONE, gives long-overdue respect to the authority of women’s own experiences.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and Sexual and Reproductive Health

March 2020 | As COVID-19 spreads around the world, placing enormous demands on health systems to manage and treat those who are infected, it becomes increasingly difficult for those systems to maintain other services effectively. During disease outbreaks, however, people continue to have sexual and reproductive health needs. Individuals, communities, health care workers, programme managers and policy-makers all need focused guidance on how best to deliver SRH services. This page pulls together the most relevant guidance on COVID-19.

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Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and violence against women

Violence against women remains a major global public health and women’s health threat during emergencies. A new document provides some key information about what the health sector and individuals can do during to prevent and address violence against women during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The unmet need for social context in family planning

10 March 2020│ New evidence on the relationship between sexual health and social context finds a strong association between gender equality, education and family planning. Now, researchers have created a dataset which brings together national surveys from 74 countries, representing 3 million women. For the first time, it allows them to describe trends in demand/use of modern contraceptives alongside social and economic indicators.

Women's health and rights: 25 years of progress?

8 March 2020│The first article in the series, ‘25 years after the Beijing Declaration we need to reaffirm that women’s rights are human rights,’ highlights recent advances in gender equality and celebrates the rise of a new and determined generation of activists, working together to empower girls and women.



Guideline Methodologist

The WHO Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research (SRH) seeks an experienced guideline methodologist to support a project related to evidence retrieval, synthesis, quality appraisal, and guideline development for issues related to postnatal care for women and newborns. Currently several teams have been commissioned to develop the systematic reviews and other background documents needed to respond to the priority questions on postnatal care. Evidence to decision (EtD) frameworks will be used to communicate these findings with expert advisors and to inform decisions for WHO Postnatal Care recommendations.

Research Project Manager

The WHO Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research (SRH) seeks an experienced Research Project Manager to appoint in this newly created position. The consultant will work closely with staff in WHO’s Departments of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research, other departments as needed at all WHO level, and with input from technical partners to support WHO’s key research projects linked to outbreaks, syphilis and cervical cancer.

Request for Proposals

The purpose of this Request for Proposals (RFP) is to enter into a contractual agreement with a successful bidder and select a suitable contractor to develop an interactive, online database and tools to visualise national, regional and global data on prevalence of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence against women

Call for expressions of interest

The HRP Special Programme submits its research projects for consideration, comment, guidance and approval to an established advisory body of international experts to assess each project’s scientific design, as well as technical and financial/budgetary aspects. HRP research projects cover all topic areas of sexual and reproductive health and includes projects that involve human participants, involve biological material obtained from human participants, obtain information from human participants, access records on human participants or involve experiments in animals. The type of research under consideration is not restricted and includes: basic, biomedical, epidemiological, social science, as well as operations, implementation, health systems and programme development research. If you are currently, or have recently served on a research proposal/protocol review body technically assessing projects in sexual and reproductive health, and you are interested in being considered as a member of the HRP Research Project Review Panel, please submit your interest via e-mail to with your e-mail subject line reading “HRP Research Project Review Panel”. Please include a recent consolidated C.V, including a publication list as appropriate.


Journal articles

Building opportunities during the Zika epidemic in the Americas: The case for strengthening research capacity

  • Access the Supplement
    International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics Volume 148, Issue S1 January 2020

Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights: Progress in the 25 Years Since the International Conference on Population and Development and Prospects for the Next 25 years

Technical publications










All RHR/HRP publications


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

TEDx Talks

How talking about sex could end STIs

Teodora Elvira Wi, WHO/HRP

In this funny and eye-opening talk about the challenges we face today with safe sex and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), Teodora Elvira Wi shares heartwarming personal stories around sex, STIs and the urgent need to break down the stigma.


The WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanhom launches the WHO Guideline on Digital Interventions for Health System Strengthening. The World Health Organization (WHO) is committed to be at the forefront of ensuring Ministries of Health have guidance to benefit from digital technology for health system and population needs.

Strengthening the health system response to violence against women

Video available in three languages

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