Getting reproductive health right

Getting reproductive health right
18 February 2019
We’ve come a long way since the days of bulky pads, counting menstrual cycle days, and all sorts of strange contraptions that purported to support human reproductive health.

Now, thanks to science and technology, innovation around reproductive health has encouraged more and more people to take responsibility for - and control over - their own bodies.

Women’s reproductive health

Ultimately, protecting and supporting maternal health is important for ensuring that the human race continues, but let’s not forget that reproductive health is not only about making babies. It is a fundamental element of all health, and being able to access to right kind of reproductive health care is vital. In the past, the fight to obtain and uphold women’s rights towards making well-informed decisions about their own bodies was sometimes lost. And, in many places around the world, termination of pregnancy services are still banned or frowned upon, rendering them inaccessible to people who need them most. But, thanks to science and technology, the reproductive health options for women have greatly expanded over the past few decades. We’ve moved from bulky pads, to menstrual cups, and from wondering about our health, towards vaccinations that protect us from HPV. We have come a long way in many ways, but we’re not there yet. The fight for easily accessible, effective, and supportive, reproductive health services continues.

Men’s reproductive health

In talking about reproductive health, the focus often falls on women, but men’s reproductive health is similarly crucial for the continuation of the human race. Alarmingly, men are becoming increasingly infertile, which scientists contest is the result of increased chemicals in our food and environment. But, beyond just sperm count, men’s reproductive health also needs keen attention. Often anecdotally, it’s noted that men are notoriously difficult to get to the doctor, and this is often doubly true when it comes to taking care of their reproductive health. It’s now recommended that boys and young men also receive the HPV vaccine. Similarly, the rather once-serious undertaking of having a vasectomy is no longer such a concern - it’s now considered a day procedure, and not too difficult in terms of recovery.

Using digital technology to improve reproductive health
While accessing reproductive health services remains a concern, encouraging and enabling conversations around reproductive health is an imperative. Too often, questions around reproductive health remain unanswered, often the result of shyness or shame. Luckily, the adoption of mobile technologies has helped to ensure that more and more people - and especially young people - can get the answers they need, when they need them. In South Africa, these organisations are particularly focused on helping people access all-important reproductive health information:

LifeDoc can help

If you’d like to know more about the reproductive health choices available to you, chat to your doctor or clinic nurse. Make that appointment, and take your notes using LifeDoc, to help you remember all the important elements of your new eating plan. LifeDoc ™ can help. LifeDoc ™ helps you take charge of your personal health information, remember medical appointments, and securely stores your personal medical history. Stay up to date with LifeDoc™ on Facebook and Twitter.