What is reproductive health? Reproductive health refers to physical, mental, and social well-being in everything related to reproductive systems. The idea reproductive health is only for those who have reproductive issues is a misunderstanding. Reproductive health means the functions and processes of the reproductive system across our entire lifespan. Good reproductive health can be characterized by health, safety, and satisfaction.
Having the freedom to plan and prepare when and where to have children, or decide to have children at all, is an important aspect of reproductive health. A central part of human development is surrounded by reproductive health. All life comes from our reproductive organs. Knowing this is a huge responsibility, many things should be taken into consideration when talking about reproductive health. This includes things like the mother’s health and nutrition status when she becomes pregnant, children’s health during their years of development, adolescents’ health during puberty and men and women’s health as they age.
Reproductive health directly influences overall health in general. For women who are in their reproductive years, health is a vital aspect of their lives. Having good reproductive health can help prevent things like cervical cancer, complications with pregnancy and birth, unwanted pregnancy, and disease. Women in the aging population can have complications from reproductive health issues from when they were younger that can have lasting effects when they are aging.
Men play a huge role in good reproductive health for themselves and for the women in their lives. Fathers and mothers alike have a responsibility to their children to teach them safe sex practices. Fathers who have strong bonds with their daughters and sons are more likely to have a positive influence when it comes to their reproductive health and safety. Men can be proactive in protecting themselves against disease that can affect them in their aging lives as well as their young lives. When men and women alike take into consideration their reproductive health it can improve the health of the entire population.
Things you can do to take control of your own reproductive health are getting tested for sexually transmitted infections (STI). Women who are sexually active should have regular pap-smears. Talk to your teenagers who may be sexually active or are curious. Provide them with general information about safe sex practices and the change their bodies go through during puberty. Women who are planning to have a child or who may be pregnant should consult with a doctor about their health. New mothers should bring their babies in for well child/baby checks.
What does Storey County’s Health and Wellness Hub provide when it comes to reproductive health? Story County’s community health nurses can provide STI and HIV testing and treatment, safe sex kits and a place to have questions answered, Pap smears, breast exams, family planning, and well child/baby exams. All consultations are private and are a safe place to ask questions and get answers for everyone, without judgment, from health care professionals.
Taking an active role in your own health and the health of your loved ones is one step in the right direction. Preventative care can impact a person’s life greatly when it comes to reproductive health. Having a conversation with the health nurses on staff can really improve your reproductive health and the health of your family. Make an appointment today.
Jinan Barghouti is an intern at Community Chest in Virginia City.