The definition of reproductive health encompasses an individual’s overall sexual well-being. It is a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellness that relates to the reproductive system, its functions, and processes. It is important to note that a good health is not merely the absence of sexual and reproductive diseases and conditions. According to the United Nations, reproductive health is about having pleasurable and safe sexual activities as an innate human need.
Generally, reproductive also pertains to the condition of the reproductive systems of males and females during all life stages. These include the reproductive organs and glands that produce specific hormones for both sexes. Female ovaries and male testicles are the reproductive organs that ensure a well-functioning reproductive system.
A million Americans suffer from various reproductive health issues. Commonly, female disorders include early or delayed puberty, endometriosis, inadequate breast milk production, infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome, pregnancy issues, and uterine fibroids.For males, the most common reproductive health problems are impotence or erectile dysfunction and a low sperm count.
Experts suggest that possible environmental factors affect reproductive health. Studies have shown that excessive exposure to lead and mercury, can result in infertility in both men and women. Diethylstilbestrol (DES) medication affects pregnant women and their babies. It can increase the risk for their children of developing cancer, infertility, and other complications. On the one hand, endocrine-disrupting compounds can interfere with the body’s hormones, impede puberty, affect fertility, and pose specific threats during pregnancy.
Contraceptive medicines and other essential health drugs, such as misoprostol, misoprostol-mifepristone combination, cefixime, clotrimazole and nifedipine, may lessen the risk of having reproductive health complications.