REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

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According to World Health Organization (WHO), reproductive health means ‘a total well-being in all aspects of reproduction, i.e., physical, emotional, behavioural and social’. 


Reproductive Health - Problems and Strategies 

Problems:

  • There is little knowledge of personal hygiene and hygiene of reproductive organs. This causes sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). 

  • Early marriages lead to high maternal and infant mortality rates.

  • Due to lack of awareness, there has been a rapid increase in population size.

  • People encourage beliefs in myths and misconceptions about sex-related issues. 

 

Strategies: 

  • 'Family planning' programmes were initiated as early as 1951. 

  • 'Reproductive and Child Health Care' (RCH) programmes were launched in 1997 for:

a.    Creating awareness among people about various reproduction related aspects.
b.    Providing facilities and support for building up a reproductively healthy society. 

  • With the help of audio-visual aids and print-media, both government and non-government agencies are engaged in creating awareness among people about reproduction-related aspects. 

  • Encouraging sex education in schools to give the right information to young minds and save them from myths and misconceptions about sex-related aspects. 

  • Proper information about reproductive organs, adolescence and related changes, safe and hygienic sexual practices and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) should be given. 

  • Educating people about available birth control options, care for pregnant mothers, post-natal care of the mother and child, importance of breast feeding, equal opportunities for the male and female child. 

  • Awareness of problems due to uncontrolled population growth and social evils like sex-abuse and sex-related crimes, etc.

  • Statutory ban on amniocentesis (a foetal sex-determination test based on the chromosome pattern in the cells found in amniotic fluid surrounding the developing embryo) for sex-determination to legally check increasing female foeticides. 

 

Population Explosion 

  • The tremendous / drastic increase in size and growth rate of population is called population explosion. 

  • The world population was about 2 billion in 1900 and it was 6 billion in 2000.

  • Population of India at the time of Independence was about 350 million and it crossed I.2 billion in May 2011. (133.92 crores in 2017).


Reasons for High Population Growth 

  • Rapid decline in death rate.

  • Decline in maternal mortality rate (MMR). 

  • Decline in infant mortality rate (IMR). 

  • Increase in number of people in reproducible age. 

 

According to 2011 census report, the population growth rate was about 2 per cent, i.e., 
20/1000/year in India-a rate at which our population could double in 33 years.

 
Steps to Curb Population Growth 

  1. Statutory raising marriageable age of girls to 18 years and of boys to 21 years.

  2. Incentives should be given to couples with small family.

  3. By motivate smaller families by using various contraceptive methods. 

 
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Contraceptives
A device or drug or method serving to prevent the pregnancy (control the birth) is called contraceptive.

 

An ideal contraceptive should be: 
a.    User-friendly. 
b.    Easily available. 
c.    Effective and reversible with no or least side-effects.
d.    non-interfering with the sexual drive/desire and/or the sexual act of the user. 

 

Methods of Birth Control (Contraceptives) 
The wide range of contraceptive methods presently available which could be broadly grouped into the following categories: 

  1. Natural/traditional methods

  2. Barrier methods 

  3. Intra uterine devices (IUDs)

  4. Oral contraceptives

  5. Injections and implants

  6. Surgical methods

 

1. Natural/traditional methods
These are natural methods that work on the principle of avoiding the meeting of ovum and sperm.

  • Periodic abstinence: is a method in which a couple avoids or abstains from coitus from day 10-17 of the menstrual cycle, when ovulation is expected to occur.
    As a chance of fertilization are very high during this period, it is called the fertile period.