Reproductive health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not simply the absence of diseases or diseases, in all matters related to the reproductive system and its functions and processes.
Reproductive health implies that people can have a satisfactory and safe sex life and that they have the ability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so.
What is reproductive health?
Reproduction is a biological process by which young are produced and is a fundamental characteristic of all life. Sexual reproduction refers to the production of new living organisms from two individuals of different sexes. Reproductive health is much broader than this since it is a state of physical, mental and social well-being in all matters related to the reproductive system.
In this step, Professor Pat Doyle describes the different domains that are included under the term “reproductive health” and explains why they are important. These domains are generally divided into four groups:
- Have a safe and pleasant sex life
- Maintain a healthy reproductive system.
- Having children safely
- Avoid unwanted births.
Reproductive health refers to diseases, disorders, and conditions that affect the functioning of the male and female reproductive systems during all stages of life. Reproductive disorders include birth defects, developmental disorders, low birth weight, premature birth, reduced fertility, impotence, and menstrual disorders. Research has shown that exposure to environmental pollutants may represent the greatest threat to reproductive health. Lead exposure is associated with reduced fertility in both men and women, while exposure to mercury has been linked to congenital defects and neurological disorders. Increasing evidence suggests that exposure to endocrine disruptors, chemicals that appear to alter hormonal activity in humans and animals, may contribute to problems with fertility, pregnancy and other aspects of reproduction.
Importance or significance of reproductive health
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), reproductive health means total well-being in all aspects of reproduction, that is, physical, emotional, behavioral and social. Some of the meanings of reproductive health in society are
- It prevents the spread of various sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS, syphilis, etc.
- People with good reproductive health produce better children who have better chances of survival.
- Better education and sexual awareness helps to keep the population and prevent the population explosion.
- Unwanted and adolescent pregnancies can be avoided.
- Reproductive health in India has greatly improved in the last 50 years.
A life cycle approach
Reproductive health is a lifelong concern for both women and men, from childhood to old age. Evidence shows that reproductive health at any of these stages of life has a profound effect on one’s health later in life. UNFPA supports programs tailored to the different challenges people face at different times in their lives, including comprehensive sexuality education, family planning, prenatal and safe delivery, postnatal care, services to prevent sexually transmitted infections (including HIV) and services that facilitate early diagnosis and treatment of reproductive health diseases (including breast and cervical cancer).
To support reproductive health throughout the life cycle, services in a variety of sectors must be strengthened, from health and education systems to even transportation systems, which are necessary to ensure that medical care is accessible. And all efforts to support sexual and reproductive health depend on the availability of essential health supplies, such as contraceptives, life-saving medications, and basic medical equipment.
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