Latest News at the SOGC

SOGC Statement – Oxytocin Update

The SOGC recently participated in a meeting with Health Canada and other partners to discuss the current shortage of oxytocin in Canada. Based on available information, it is estimated that there is a sufficient supply of oxytocin in Canadian obstetric units to last until replenishment, which, barring unforeseen circumstances, is expected by October 18, 2019. 


  1. Judicious use of oxytocin: Members are encouraged to continue to use oxytocin where indicated following the SOGC guidelines for induction and augmentation of labour, management of the third stage and prevention and management of postpartum hemorrhage. Practitioners are also encouraged to follow hospital policy with respect to the indications and protocols for oxytocin use. 
  2. Avoidance of wastage of oxytocin: Consider opportunities to conserve supply and avoid waste, such as:
    a) Avoid drawing up the dose of oxytocin prior to delivery in the event that an alternate route of administration may be required. This will lead to the wasting of the drawn up oxytocin.
    b) Discuss with your hospital pharmacy if they can mix up IV bags using multi-dose vials. Recommended dilutions are 15 units in 250 mL or 30 units and 500 mL.
  3. Preparedness: Obstetrical units are advised to be prepared for an oxytocin shortage and to have considered protocols for alternative approaches. The SOGC Clinical Obstetrics and Maternal Fetal Medicine Committees are working to develop SOGC protocols for alternatives to oxytocin.  In the interim, SOGC is providing protocols that are in use in Canada currently for the use of carbetocin in the third stage of labour at cesarean section, misoprostol for induction of labour and management of postpartum hemorrhage. Here are the protocols: Misoprostol Induction of Labour, Obstetric Induction and Cervical Ripening with Prostaglandin and Oxytocin Injection on Backorder.

The SOGC will continue to update on the situation if there are any changes, and we are happy to hear from you with any questions or concerns. 

October 11, 2019
SOGC Statement – Oxytocin Update

Health Canada: Avalon Fetal Monitor - Risk of Inaccurate Ultrasound-Derived Fetal Heart Rate Monitor

While the Avalon Fetal Monitor Instructions for Use (IFU) contained detailed information regarding the correct use of the device, some important instructions were not prominently emphasized. In order to help further reduce the risk associated with inaccurate monitoring, Health Canada has worked with the manufacturer to improve the IFU to ensure that important instructions are appropriately highlighted.

Healthcare professionals are advised that changes have been made in the Avalon Fetal Monitor IFU to highlight the following important instructions:
Check the mother’s pulse periodically during monitoring and compare this with the FHR signal. Beware of mistaking a “doubled” maternal heart rate (MHR) for FHR.
Always confirm fetal life before using the monitor.
The simultaneous monitoring of MHR (preferably, the maternal ECG) and the fetal heart rate is encouraged.
Whenever possible make use of the cross-channel verification (CCV) feature.

Additionally, healthcare professionals are advised that starting with software version Revision J.3, an audible tone is provided to help users identify potential coincidence between all monitored heart rates.

Read Health Canada’s full advisory here.



October 10, 2019
Health Canada Notice: Avalon Fetal Monitor - Risk of Inaccurate Ultrasound-Derived Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring

SOGC Statement –Oxytocin

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) is aware of the recent shortage of the drug oxytocin in Canada and is working directly with Health Canada to ensure that there are proper recommendations that will address this issue. 

It is our understanding that the oxytocin shortage will be short term and should not adversely effect the care of pregnant women. At this point it appears that all hospitals in Canada have sufficient supply to last until the next shipment is received. In the event that there is an unexpected increase in usage, affected hospitals are advised to contact Pfizer directly, for reallocation of the oxytocin available.

Once the SOGC has reviewed the situation with Health Canada, more comprehensive recommendations will be circulated, Recommendations will include alternate treatment options for labour induction, augmentation and postpartum haemorrhage prophylaxis including carbetocin and misoprostol. Prudent use of oxytocin in accordance with current guidelines is recommended in the interim.

Please feel free to share this information with your colleagues.
October 4, 2019
SOGC Statement – Oxytocin

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.

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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.

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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.


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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.


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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).

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. 

There are currently no scheduled Instructor courses available. 

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.

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Ontario CME 2019
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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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