Reproductive healthcare is a vital aspect of healthcare for everyone. Here are five things you should know about reproductive health.
Who Should Pay Attention To Reproductive Health
In short, everyone should be paying attention to their reproductive health. While some specialties of reproductive healthcare, such as gynecology, are meant for female reproductive organs, other aspects of reproductive healthcare, such as treating sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), are universal. Even children may experience issues with their reproductive systems because these systems are part of people’s overall health. Early-onset or delayed-onset puberty and other hormone-related disorders, for example, can affect people who aren’t sexually active, unlike STDs.
Common Reproductive Health Issues
While both men and women can experience reproductive health issues, there are still differences according to biological sex. For example, while a man can develop breast cancer, he cannot develop cancer in organs he doesn’t have, such as ovaries. The most common reproductive health issues men experience are low sperm count, erectile dysfunction and impotence. Some of the most common reproductive health issues women face are endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, infertility and irregular menstrual cycles.
Some Good Resources for Reproductive Healthcare
One of the best resources for reproductive healthcare at your disposal will be your primary care physician, who will be able to refer to you specialists such as gynecologists, midwives and reproductive endocrinologists. There are also general resources available, such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Other resources directly or indirectly related to reproductive health include fertility clinics, abortion clinics, mental health professionals, substance abuse treatment facilities and domestic violence prevention resources.
Men And Women Can Both Experience Infertility
While infertility is more common among women, men also face reproductive health issues. In fact, according to the CDC, around nine percent of American men will experience infertility. In both men and women, infertility or reduced fertility can stem from several underlying causes. These include medications, certain diseases such as type 1 diabetes, hormone imbalances, cancer treatment, natural aging, and exposure to harmful substances from lead to alcohol.
If you’re experiencing infertility issues, you can discuss your options with a fertility specialist. For men, options include surgery, hormone treatments, and or third party reproductive assistance such as in vitro fertilization and or artificial home insemination (through donated sperm) can be effective if other treatments do not restore fertility.
You Should Know Your Family History
It’s important for you to know your family history in regard to your reproductive health. Women with a family history of any sort of female reproductive issues, such as endometriosis or uterine cancer, will be at higher risk for these conditions. Both men and women who are related to someone diagnosed with breast cancer are at higher risk for that type of cancer. If you can tell your doctor about your family history, he or she will be better able to monitor you for any signs of these issues developing.
When it comes to reproductive healthcare, preventive care is essential to ensure you stay as healthy as possible and are more likely to catch issues when they’re small. Make sure your doctor is aware of your family history and any concerns you may have so you can get the most appropriate care for your needs.