Designed and created by Guideline Central in participation with the World Health Organization
Routes of Oxytocin Administration for the Prevention of Postpartum Hemorrhage After Vaginal Birth
Patient Guideline Summary
Publication Date: November 1, 2020
Last Updated: March 2, 2023
This patient summary means to discuss key recommendations from the World Health Organization for oxytocin administration for the prevention of postpartum hemorrhage after vaginal birth.
- Hemorrhage (excessive bleeding) happens after birth in about one in 20 women.
- This patient summary focuses on the use of oxytocin to prevent postpartum hemorrhage.
- Oxytocin causes the uterus (womb) to contract, interrupting bleeding.
- All patients should receive 10 international units of oxytocin immediately after the delivery of the baby.
- Intravenous administration is preferred over an intramuscular route.
WHO recommendation on routes of oxytocin administration for the prevention of postpartum haemorrhage after vaginal birth. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2020. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
The information in this patient summary should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.