Sexual and reproductive health (SRH): a key issue in the emergency response to the coronavirus disease (COVID- 19) outbreak

Reprod Health. 2020 Apr 23;17(1):59. doi: 10.1186/s12978-020-0900-9.


The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak was first declared in China in December 2019, and WHO declared the pandemic on 11 March 2020. A fast-rising number of confirmed cases has been observed in all continents, with Europe at the epicentre of the outbreak at this moment.Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and rights is a significant public health issue during the epidemics. The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is new to humans, and only limited scientific evidence is available to identify the impact of the disease COVID-19 on SRH, including clinical presentation and outcomes of the infection during pregnancy, or for persons with STI/HIV-related immunosuppression. Beyond the clinical scope of SRH, we should not neglect the impacts at the health system level and disruptions or interruptions in regular provision of SRH services, such as pre- and postnatal checks, safe abortion, contraception, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections. Furthermore, other aspects merit attention such as the potential increase of gender-based violence and domestic abuse, and effects of stigma and discrimination associated with COVID-19 and their effects on SRH clients and health care providers. Therefore, there is an urgent need for the scientific community to generate sound clinical, epidemiological, and psycho-social behavioral links between COVID-19 and SRH and rights outcomes.

Keywords: COVID-19; Outbreak; Pandemic; Sexual and reproductive health.

Publication types

  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics / prevention & control*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / prevention & control*
  • Reproductive Health*
  • Reproductive Rights
  • Sexual Health*