Sexual and reproductive health

What's new?

Woman with her newborn baby

9 October 2019 | New evidence from a WHO-led study in four countries shows that more than one-third of women experienced mistreatment during childbirth in health facilities. The study, carried out in Ghana, Guinea, Myanmar and Nigeria showed that women were at the highest risk of experiencing physical and verbal abuse between 30 minutes before birth until 15 minutes after birth.

Engaging men, addressing harmful masculinities to improve sexual and reproductive health and rights

September 2019 | The first ever systematic review of evidence on the effectiveness of gender-transformative interventions that engage men and boys has been published in BMJ Global Health. The paper suggests that while it is desirable to have interventions engaging men and boys promote gender equality, very few interventions actually do so. Nonetheless, those that do, show promising evidence that they work in improving sexual and reproductive health related behaviours.

Maternal deaths decline slowly with vast inequalities worldwide

19 September 2019│ A new report on maternal mortality, released today by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank Group and the United Nations Population Division, estimates a worldwide number of 295 000 maternal deaths in 2017. This figure represents a 38% reduction since the year 2000 an average reduction of just under 3% per year. For women, this means that the global lifetime risk of maternal mortality – the risk that a 15-year old girl will die eventually from a maternal cause – was approximately 1 in 190 for 2017, nearly half of the level of risk in 2000.

WHO updates recommendations for contraceptive eligibility for women at high risk of HIV

29 August 2019 │ WHO has changed its recommendations for progestogen-only injectables and intrauterine devices (IUDs) for women at high risk of HIV from a Category 2 to a Category 1. Additional clarifications are provided for the IUD recommendation.

WHO releases first guideline on digital health interventions

19 August 2019 | An article published today in BMJ Global Health describes an innovative, dynamic approach that is being used by WHO to respond to new, important evidence in the area of maternal and perinatal health. This new approach, called “living guidelines”, uses a combination of continuous literature surveillance, rapid updating of prioritized systematic reviews and virtual consultations with “living guideline” panels to update and develop new WHO recommendations. This can ensure that the latest evidence and updated recommendations can reach health workers worldwide as quickly as possible.



Gender-Based Violence Consultant

The WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR) seeks an experienced gender-based violence training specialist to work on a project focused on gender-based violence (GBV) in emergencies. This 6-month consultancy will focus on providing trainings on the health response to GBV and other technical support to francophone countries in Africa.

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

Gonorrhoea: Tackling the Global Epidemic in the Era of Rising Antimicrobial Resistance

This Special Issue of Sexual Health aims to collate the latest evidence base focussed on understanding the current epidemic and transmission of gonorrhoea, choice of treatment, molecular epidemiology application, concerns about antimicrobial resistance and alternative prevention and control for gonorrhoea.

Self care interventions for sexual and reproductive health and rights

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 Reproductive Health and Research.