Latest News at the SOGC

SOGC Infectious Disease Committee Statement on the Novel Coronavirus

The current outbreak of atypical pneumonia in Wuhan, China caused by a novel Coronavirus is being monitored closely by the SOGC Infectious Disease Committee.  Historically, pregnant women have been disproportionately affected by respiratory illnesses.  As seen in the influenza epidemic in 1918, the Asian flu epidemic in 1957/58, H1N1 pandemic in 2009 and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003, respiratory infections in pregnant women have higher rates of mortality, ICU admission and other infectious morbidity compared to the non-pregnant population (1, 2, 3). The more recent SARS outbreak in 2003 (another coronavirus) provides  limited data in pregnancy but outcomes again appeared to be worse for pregnant women with a 28% vs 10% mortality rate (pregnant vs non-pregnant) and 57% vs 20% (pregnant vs non-pregnant)  mechanical ventilation rate (4).  A single case was formally reported in Canada with no adverse outcomes (5). There were no cases of maternal to fetal transmission in the SARS outbreak.

At this point in time, there is limited data available on the novel Coronavirus from Wuhan in general and no pregnancy specific data.  Any febrile respiratory illness in pregnancy should be taken seriously with appropriate diagnostics and therapies targeted at the most common causes of serious respiratory infection including bacterial and viral pneumonia, such as influenza.  Women with a history of symptoms within 14 days of travel from the Wuhan region in China should have novel Coronavirus considered as a possible cause. Importantly this outbreak serves as a reminder to obstetric care providers of the need to practice good infection control practices including appropriate isolation and contact/droplet or airborne precautions as per local practices and guidelines.

The SOGC Infectious Disease committee will continue to follow the outbreak and provide its members and the obstetric community with updates as more information is gathered. 



  1. McKinney P, Volkert P, Kaufman J. Fatal swine influenza pneumonia during late pregnancy. Arch Intern Med 1990;150:213e5. 
  2. Larsen JW. Influenza and pregnancy. Clin Obstet Gynecol 1982;25:599e603. 
  3. Eickhoff TC, Sherman IL, Serfling RE. Observations on excess mortality associated with epidemic influenza. JAMA 1961;176:776e82.
  4. Wong SF, Chow KM, de Swiet M. Severe acute respiratory syndrome and pregnancy. BJOG 2003;110:641e2. 
  5. Yudin MH, Steele DM, Sgro MD, et al. Severe acute respiratory syndrome in pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol 2005;105:124e7. 


More information from the Government of Canada: 

January 28, 2020
SOGC Infectious Disease Committee Statement on the Novel Coronavirus

Health Canada: GILENYA (fingolimod) - Risk of Congenital Malformations

Health Canada is advising Canadians that there is a risk of congenital malformations in a fetus exposed to GILENYA. Available human data (post-marketing data and pregnancy registry information) suggest that the use of GILENYA is associated with an increased risk of overall major congenital malformation (approximately 5%) when administered during pregnancy in comparison with the prevalence observed in the general population (2-4%).

  • When used during pregnancy, GILENYA (fingolimod) has been associated with an increased risk of major congenital malformations, including congenital heart disease such as atrial septal defect, and renal and musculoskeletal abnormalities.
  • GILENYA is now contraindicated in women who are pregnant or in women of childbearing potential who are not using effective contraception.
  • Healthcare professionals should discuss the following with all female patients of reproductive potential (including female adolescents and their parent/guardian/caregiver) treated with, or to be treated with, GILENYA:
    - the risk of harmful effects associated with GILENYA to a fetus during pregnancy;
    - the need for a negative pregnancy test before starting treatment with GILENYA, which is then repeated at appropriate intervals during treatment;
    - the necessity to use effective contraception during therapy with GILENYA, and for 2 months after stopping GILENYA treatment; and
    - the need to discontinue GILENYA 2 months before planning a pregnancy.
  • The Canadian Product Monograph (CPM) for GILENYA has been updated to include this new contraindication and new safety information.
  • Health Canada will work with the manufacturers of generic versions of fingolimod to update their respective CPMs.

See full alert here.

December 19, 2019
Health Canada: GILENYA (fingolimod) - Risk of Congenital Malformations

Health Canada Advisory: PregVit and PregVit folic 5 

Health Canada Advisory: Duchesnay Inc. recalls certain lots of PregVit and PregVit folic 5 prenatal and postpartum vitamin-mineral supplements because of a packaging error

Health Canada is advising Canadians that Duchesnay Inc. is recalling certain lots of PregVit vitamin-mineral supplements (for prenatal and postpartum use) and PregVit folic 5 vitaminmineral supplements (for prenatal use) because blister packages may contain all pink (morning) tablets instead of the correct combination of pink and blue (evening) tablets. The company estimates the issue affects a very small number of products in certain lots (see the table below) and not all products.  

There are no quality, safety or effectiveness concerns with the tablets themselves but there is the potential that patients may not take the proper combination of pink and blue tablets if they have received products impacted by the packaging error.  

The pink and the blue tablets do not contain the same active ingredients. Women taking all pink tablets will not receive the intended vitamin and mineral supplements. In particular, the pink tablets do not contain folic acid, which is important for the healthy growth of an unborn baby and helps to reduce some types of birth defects called neural tube defects.  

Properly packaged products should contain two blister packs, with each blister pack containing 15 pink tablets and 15 blue tablets. The company received a complaint of a product containing a blister pack that contained all pink tablets and no blue tablets.  

Who is affected 
Women who have bought or are using the affected products. 

Affected products  
PregVit Format 60 
DIN: 02451573 

  • Lot: 19003 / Expiry: 2021-10-31
  • Lot: 19001V / Expiry: 2021-09-30
  • Lot: 18015V / Expiry: 2021-08-31
  • Lot: 18010V / Expiry: 2021-05-31
  • Lot: 18012V / Expiry: 2021-04-30
  • Lot: 18006V / Expiry: 2020-08-31
  • Lot: 18003V / Expiry: 2020-06-30
  • Lot: 17019V / Expiry: 2020-05-31
  • Lot: 17016 / Expiry: 2020-07-31
  • Lot: 17002 / Expiry: 2020-03-31
  • Lot: 16065 / Expiry: 2020-02-29
  • Lot: 16064 / Expiry: 2020-01-31
  • Lot: 16045 / Expiry:  2019-12-31
  • Lot: 16042 / Expiry: 2019-12-31

PregVit folic 5 Format 60 
DIN: 02451581
  • Lot: 18022 / Expiry: 2021-07-31
  • Lot: 18007 / Expiry: 2020-10-31 
  • Lot: 18002 / Expiry: 2020-09-30
  • Lot: 16053 / Expiry: 2019-12-31 

What consumers should do

  • Check your product to make sure it contains the correct combination of pink and blue tablets (each blister pack should contain 15 pink and 15 blue tablets [see photos]).  
  • Continue taking the prescribed number of pink and blue tablets per day as directed by your health care professional. If your product has an incorrect tablet combination, talk to your pharmacist about obtaining a replacement. Properly packaged products do not need to be returned.  
  • Consult your health care professional if you have used either of these products and have health concerns.  
  • Contact Duchesnay Inc. by calling toll-free at 1-888-666-0611, or by email at, if you have any questions about the recall.  
  • Report any health product adverse events or complaints to Health Canada. 

Additional information for pharmacists

  • Check packages of PregVit and PregVit folic 5 before dispensing them to patients.  
  • Not all lots are being recalled. While the company has put a verification process in place to make sure that products not impacted by this recall are properly packaged, checking products before dispensing provides an added safeguard.  

What Health Canada is doing 

Health Canada is monitoring the recall and verifying that the company has effectively addressed the packaging issue. Should additional safety concerns be identified, Health Canada will take appropriate action and inform Canadians as necessary. 

PregVit – box

PregVit – properly packaged blister pack

PregVit folic 5 – box 

PregVit folic 5 – properly packaged blister pack

Public Enquiries:
(613) 957-2991
1-866 225-0709
November 15, 2019
Health Canada Advisory: PregVit and PregVit folic 5

About the SOGC

The SOGC is one of Canada’s oldest national specialty organizations. Established in 1944, the Society’s mission is to promote excellence in the practice of obstetrics and gynaecology and to advance the health of women through leadership, advocacy, collaboration, and education.

The SOGC has over 4,000 members, comprised of obstetricians, gynaecologists, family physicians, nurses, midwives, and allied health professionals working in the field of sexual reproductive health.

Learn More Meet the Board Academic Council
Guidelines and JOGC

About the JOGC

The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada (JOGC) publishes original research, reviews, case reports, and commentaries by Canadian and international authors, pertinent to readers in Canada and around the world. The Journal covers a wide range of topics in obstetrics and gynaecology and women’s health covering all life stages including the evidence-based Clinical Practice Guidelines, Committee Opinions, and Policy Statements that derive from standing or ad hoc committees of The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.

The Journal emphasizes vigorous peer-review and accepts papers in English and French. Abstracts for all papers are available in both languages. JOGC is indexed in Medline.

Members - You MUST sign in below before proceeding to to access member-only content published in the JOGC.

Access to the JOGC is a benefit of SOGC membership.

Sign in to take advantage of this member benefit or join the SOGC to enjoy the Journal by clicking on ‘Become a Member’ below.

Latest SOGC Guidelines

Upcoming SOGC Guidelines

Video Corner

Dr. Bill Ehman on the SOGC's Newest Online Course: "Vaccination in Pregnancy"

"Should my pregnant patient get a flu shot?" "My patient has received a Tdap vaccine before - does she need another one in this pregnancy?" "How can I make a strong recommendation about vaccination to my vaccine-hesitant patients?"

We sat down with Dr. Bill Ehman to review these considerations. Find the answers to these questions and more in the SOGC’s newest online course : "Vaccination in Pregnancy". Registration will be available soon - keep checking our Online Courses page.


GRADE | EndNote

Online Courses
Premier medical education combined with the convenience of online study.

Online Courses

Designed by SOGC experts and employing the most current medical knowledge, our accredited online courses combine premier medical education with the convenience of online study. 

These courses are designed specifically for improving the learning experience and to tailor your educational experiences to meet your personal learning objectives.


Go to SOGC Online Platform

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ALARM Courses
Improving care provided to women, babies and families during pregnancy, labour and delivery.

ALARM Courses

The SOGC places the utmost importance on improving intrapartum care, from the process to its outcomes. One way to achieve that objective is through offering continuing education programs like the ALARM course (Advances in Labour and Risk Management).
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Welcome and Overview

ALARM was developed by obstetricians/gynaecologists, family physicians, midwives and nurses, who jointly continue to maintain and teach the course. Backed by the SOGC, the ALARM course arose out of our work to improve the care provided to women, babies, and families during pregnancy, labour, and postpartum.

  • The content of the course is evidence-based and incorporates the Canadian practice guidelines, so participants who complete the course gain an understanding of the latest best practices for providing care.
  • The ALARM course objective is to evaluate, update and maintain the competence of obstetricians/gynaecologists, family physicians, midwifes and nurses.
  • This two-day course offers case-based and hands-on workshops.
  • This course is not intended to certify attendees in any procedural skills. It provides education and hands-on experience, but this is not a substitute for clinical exposure and mentorship.
  • The courses have a ratio of approximately 6 participants to 1 faculty member to ensure a highly interactive and educational course.
The ALARM certificate will be awarded only to those who pass the written examination and who attend the course in its entirety.

If you are unable to attend an ALARM course but would like to purchase an ALARM manual, please download this form and submit it by email to

Upcoming Courses

Please note that there are upcoming ALARM courses planned that are not yet listed below. They will be added as soon as logistical aspects are finalized.

If you would like to hold an ALARM course in your community, please contact us at Please note that a minimum of 12 participants is required.

Should you have any questions about your registration, please do not hesitate to contact us at


Instructor Courses - Overview

The ALARM program would not be possible without the efforts of specialists, physicians, nurses and midwives trained to teach this course to their peers. In order to maintain the quality of this highly recognized program, the ALARM Committee has identified specific requirements for instructors throughout Canada.

In order to be eligible to take the instructor course, you must:
  • Have participated in an ALARM course in the past 4 years
  • Be currently registered as an MD (Family Physician or OB/GYN), Registered Nurse or Registered Midwife
  • Be actively providing intrapartum obstetrical care

If you meet the above requirements and wish to participate in the ALARM instructor course, please submit an application at the link below. Please note, a letter of recommendation from your employer, department head or a current ALARM Course Director is required.

If you are selected, you will be sent a registration link for the course. At this point, you will be able to pay your registration fees ($650 plus applicable taxes for OB/GYN and FP doctors; $500 plus applicable taxes for Registered Nurses and Registered Midwives) and receive access to the course materials.

Your participation at the ALARM instructor course is not a guarantee that you will become a qualified ALARM Instructor. 

To become a qualified ALARM instructor, you must:
  • Complete the Instructor course
  • Teach a course
  • Receive a favourable evaluation from the Course Director

Please note you will be required to teach once every three years to maintain your status as an active instructor following a successful completion of the evaluation process. If you fail to do so, you will have to take another ALARM course or Instructor course to maintain your active instructor status.

Space is limited to 24 participants per course. 

Upcoming Instructor Courses

Richmond, BC - offered in English only

Sunday May 17, 2020

Please submit your application prior to February 28, 2020 for consideration,

Selected candidates will be invited to register for the course after the deadline.

Should you have any questions about your application, please do not hesitate to contact us at


Become a Member

The SOGC is the leading voice in women's health in Canada. We are a strong and vibrant society with an active and growing membership. We are here to support you in providing the best care possible to women in Canada and around the world. That's why so many health care providers have become members of the SOGC. Let us be your partner in practice.

Join now

Upcoming events

March 12 - 14
West/Central CME 2020
Banff, Alberta
June 9 - 12
76th Annual Clinical and Scientific Conference
Ottawa, Ontario

Public Education Resources

The SOGC believes that good healthcare is built upon many partnerships and that improving healthcare requires a collaborative, holistic approach.

Providing the public with the information needed to make informed health decisions removes one barrier to improved health.

Rated one of the top 5 e-health projects in the world, provides credible and up-to-date sexual health information for teens, adults, parents, teachers, and health care providers.


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Brand Recognition Program

The SOGC Brand Recognition Program aims to assist Canadian consumers to make informed choices when selecting over-the-counter products. 

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