Female Reproductive Health
Maintenance of female sexual health is important for a number of reasons. Besides sexual relationships, it is also tightly linked to female reproductive health and fertility. Young women can protect their fertility and quality of sexual relationships by acquiring these healthy habits:
- Consuming a balanced and nutritive diet that is full of essential ingredients in order to maintain a strong and physically fit body.
- Lifestyle remodeling; i.e. opting for safe practices and abstaining from any activity that may be damage the reproductive health.
- Indulging in safe sex practices i.e. monogamous relationships and use of physical barrier methods such as condoms in case of random sexual encounters.
- Seeking treatment for infections and diseases on emergent basis to reduce the risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease and other complications.
What Is Optimal Female Reproductive Health?
A woman should be able to decide with her partner as to what time is optimum to plan her pregnancy. Planned pregnancies are fairly helpful at conceiving a child biologically and naturally. Healthy females are also capable of delivering a healthy baby with minimal risk of complications. This is an ideal situation for a woman.
Some women are unaware of the damage they are imposing on their health and future fertility by indulging in unprotected and unsafe sex. For example, the prevalence of sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), is highest among women of younger age group. Unfortunately, if no treatment is sought, it can lead to infertility and pregnancy-related complications. Therefore, there is a dire need to educate the future mothers on this issue.
Women And Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
STIs can cause much harm to a woman’s reproductive capacity; and can lead to inflammation and infertility.
The following microorganisms are responsible for causing STIs:
1) Chlamydia And Gonorrhea:
Poorly managed infection with these two bacterial agents can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease. PID refers to persistent and ongoing inflammation of the female reproductive organ such as uterus, fallopian tubes and the ovaries to cause stricture or tubal obstruction. PID can adversely affect the female fertility, as well as lead to multiple pregnancy complications like ectopic pregnancy and miscarriages. Not only this, it can also have serious repercussions on the newborn’s health.
2) Genital Herpes:
Herpes is another common cause of sexually transmitted infections among women. It can affect the skin, mouth or genitals of the affected female. In most cases, the affected person does not manifest any serious symptoms as the virus can stay dormant in the woman’s body for a long time. It does not affect conception, but can affect the fetus or neonate due to transmission of virus to the baby via placenta. For this reason, it is important that the women stay protected and get themselves tested before conception.
All reproductive aged women are recommended to get themselves screened for HIV infection in order to protect their unborn baby. Since this virus is transmitted during delivery and also via breastfeeding, it is advised that the women should be investigated properly, so that a timely plan could be devised for an alternative mode of delivery and lactation. In today’s advanced medical world, it is possible that a women affected by HIV can give birth to a HIV negative baby.
Measures To Help Protect Women’s Sexual Health And Their Fertility
- Limiting the number of sexual partners and living in a monogamous relationship.
- All women (as well as their partners should get tested for sexually transmitted infections if they have a risky lifestyle (polygamous relationships, intravenous drug abusers, sex workers etc.)
- Using a condom each time you engage in a causal sexual encounter.
- Women under 25 years of age are recommended to have an annual physical examination. Screening for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and other STIs at regular intervals is also helpful at reducing the risk of complications.
Safe and healthy female reproductive system is crucial to every woman and her relationships. You can optimize your health with simple lifestyle changes and care. Speak to your primary physician if you have questions regarding symptoms and caution.
1. Satterwhite, C. L., Torrone, E., Meites, E., Dunne, E. F., Mahajan, R., Ocfemia, M. C. B., … & Weinstock, H. (2013). Sexually transmitted infections among US women and men: prevalence and incidence estimates, 2008. Sexually transmitted diseases, 40(3), 187-193.
2. Workowski, K. A., & Bolan, G. A. (2015). Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines (2015). Reproductive Endocrinology, (24), 51-56.