Why Is It Important To Talk About Female Reproductive Health?

4 min read

Mimansha Ranjan
A Poetess of the wild type. Potterhead. Bewildered by the Cosmos and Space. A Biochemist by day and a writer by night.

Reproductive health of women is often ignored and hushed in public. We feel embarrassed to discuss the problems related to female reproductive health. We don’t talk about menstrual cramps, breast cancer and other severe problems. These problems might put a woman’s life in danger.

There are many reproductive health problems in women. We suffer from yeast and bacterial infections in the pubic region. But we don’t see a doctor. Nowadays almost every other woman is suffering from PCOD. Menstrual hygiene is another aspect of this topic. So let’s talk about female reproductive health.

What Is Reproductive Health Of Women All About?

Reproductive health of women deals with the sound health and working of female reproductive organs. Female reproductive organs include Mammary glands (breasts), female genitalia and internal reproductive organs. 

Female genital includes vagina, clitoris, vulva and labia. Internal reproductive organs include cervix (birth canal), uterus (womb), Fallopian tubes and ovaries. Awareness about female reproductive health is very important.

In recent years the cases of ovarian and uterine cancer have increased. More and more women are undergoing chemotherapy to remove a breast tumour. Many girls are suffering from Dysmenorrhoea (extreme menstrual cramps). 

The cases of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS are rising. The cases reported for female infertility are also rapidly increasing. That is why teaching women about reproductive health is encouraged.

Why Is It Important To Talk About Female Reproductive Health?

We need to understand the reproductive health problems in women. So let’s talk about female reproductive health.

  • Changes In Puberty

As a girl enters her pre-teen, her body undergoes several physical changes. It is important that she is made aware of these changes. Schools and colleges have included female Reproductive Health as an important chapter in their curriculum. So that they are sensitised towards the changes in puberty. 

Her breasts are developing. Her body will change drastically through adolescence. There are many secondary sexual characters like broadening of hips, change in voice, etc. It can be an emotional turmoil for young girls who are entering the adolescent phase. 

We need to make them understand that it’s okay. Now it is believed that teaching women about reproductive health and problems is prime.

  • Crime Against Women

As awareness has increased so has the crime against women. Rape is one such heinous crime that has taken the lives of many women.

  • Pregnancy

It is important to talk about reproductive health problems in women when it comes to contraception and pregnancy. After copulation, a woman’s body is the one that has to bear the consequences of an unwanted pregnancy

It is important that a woman is made aware about the consequences of pregnancy in advance. So that she is physically and mentally prepared for it.

A woman should be aware of the necessary precautions taken during the pregnancy to avoid any mishaps. Generally, there are lots of myths and false ideas about pregnancy. Sex determination during pregnancy is also illegal as the cases of female foeticide have increased.

  • Abortion

In the case of an unwanted pregnancy, a woman should know that abortion might not be an option available to her. It is important to understand that if you miss your period, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are pregnant.

Medical termination of pregnancy is illegal unless the life of the foetus or the mother is at risk. You might take pills like Unwanted 72 or Ipill as emergency pills to avoid unwanted pregnancy. 

But these pills will work only within 72 hours of copulation. Also, remember that any abortion, which is done after a gestation period of 3 months is life-threatening. Unwanted pregnancy is one of the most reported reproductive health problems in women.

  • Contraceptives

Awareness about female reproductive health includes knowledge of contraception. A woman should be aware of all the contraceptives available to her. There are pills and caps. Female condoms are available as well. She should be aware of the side effects of these contraceptives.

There are several contraceptives that are permanent and irreversible. So when a woman doesn’t want to have any more children, she can opt for Tubectomy. 

  • STDs

STD or sexually transmitted disease is a concerning area about the reproductive health of women. Many women nowadays practice polygamy (sexual intercourse with multiple partners). This increases the chance of getting an STD. 

Women should be told about the various STDs that they might catch after a sexual encounter. STD like HIV is incurable. Others like Syphilis and Gonorrhoea can be treated.

  • Sex Of The Unborn Child

An important thing is that a woman is blamed for the sex of her child. So if a female child is born, the family members blame the mother for it. It is important to state that the sex of a child is determined by the father. 

This is contrary to our belief. Many women are killed because of this. There are many false ideas that can be averted only when we create awareness about female reproductive health.

Also, whether it’s a girl or a boy; doesn’t make any difference. It’s your child, take care of him/her.

  • Periods

Menstrual hygiene is very important. A girl should be told about this natural process in her early teens. So that she is not scared when she gets her first period. 

A girl should know that there might be pain and cramps. But it should not be severe. She should be told to change her pads at an interval of 4 hours.

Apart from pads, there are tampons and menstrual cups. A woman should know about all the options she has during her periods.

  • Menopause

Menopause is the last of periods. A woman between the age of 45-50 experiences menopause. It might be a roller coaster ride for them. It will bring about physical and emotional changes in their bodies. A woman should be ready for it.

  • Bacterial And Yeast Infection

Not all infections that happen in your pubic region are STDs. The major reproductive health problems in women are bacterial and fungal infections. This can be treated easily. It happens due to lack of hygiene, changes in diet or pH of the body.

  • Infertility

Infertility is important when we talk about female reproductive health. Many women who want to be a mother in their late 30’s are unable to get pregnant. Chances of pregnancy are reduced with increase in the age of women.

There can be many other reasons apart from the age that might lead to infertility. It could be due to the hostile environment of the uterus, blockage in the Fallopian tubes. Infertility might not be treatable. There are several artificial reproductive technologies available so that no woman is devoid of the happiness of motherhood.

  • Diseases

There are many diseases other than the STDs that affect the reproductive health of women. Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal disorder. 

Every other girl is suffering from this. It is mainly due to the lifestyle that we have adapted to in recent years. Cases of breast and uterine cancer have also increased.

How To Take Care Of Your Reproductive Health

  • Be aware of the changes in your body. Talk about it, ask questions. Read and understand your body.
  • Have a healthy lifestyle. Treat your body with nutritional food. Take proper rest.
  • Teaching women about reproductive health will make them more aware of it.
  • Try to avoid stress. Be happy.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Do not take any pills or oral contraceptives without consulting a doctor.
  • Always use a condom during sexual intercourse. Use protection.
  • Practice monogamy (sex with one partner).
  • Clean your pubic area and keep it dry.
  • Use clean pads during periods. Change it within an interval of 3-4 hours.
  • In case of extra discharge, odd smell, or any other abnormalities visit a Gynaecologist.

These are the reasons why the reproductive health of women is important. We need to talk about it. Make the young girls aware of their bodies. 

There is nothing to be ashamed of. We have to prepare ourselves for all the physical and emotional changes that occur through the beautiful phases of womanhood.