Reproductive health

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines reproductive health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes. It implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life, the capability to reproduce, and the freedom to decide if, when, and how often to do so.”1

Reproductive health addresses all stages of life. To maintain or accomplish it, every child, adolescent and adult must have access to accurate and age-appropriate information about reproductive physiology and care, diseases and disorders, safe sex and family planning including contraception, as well as human rights on reproduction.2 People of any gender with any sexual orientation, including but not limited to the LGBT⃰ community, should be involved and supported.

Educating about reproductive health plays a major role in reducing for example maternal and newborn deaths and disabilities, sexually transmitted diseases, unintended pregnancies and thus unsafe abortions, and domestic violence. The lack of knowledge can result in prejudices and customs which in the long runs also cause social exclusion and economic disadvantage for girls and women if, for instance, girls are precluded from school and women are prohibited going to work during their period.3

⃰ Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender