Health is a fundamental human right secured for everyone. Generally, health can be divided into several categories. Reproductive health, in turn, is the study of the human reproductive system and fertility. Biological research shows that the reproductive system is one of the most fragile and essential systems in the human body. The reproductive system includes a wide range of health related issues such as pregnancy, birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, and infertility, which affect both men and women. Therefore, it is important for a person to understand his/her reproductive health and its dependence on one’s age, lifestyle, and some other factors (Glasier 1569). The following essay discusses the reproductive health and whether it affects only women or not.
The reproductive system plays an immense role in the women’s health. Female body has a wide range of health needs and tasks including reproductive and sexual functions. On the other hand, women’s reproductive health deals with different conditions and diseases that generally affect the female reproductive system such as sexually transmitted disease (STDs), child bearing, female genital mutilation, and other health related conditions. Many diseases affecting women are related to their reproductive system making reproductive health issues the leading cause of poor health and death among the female population (Figà-Talamanca, 2006).
A healthy woman means she has all her body tissues in good condition that are working like a single unit. All the elements in a woman’s reproductive system are connected, and the malfunction of one means a disruption in the functioning of the others (Figà-Talamanca, 2006). Similarly, in the masculine body, the disruption in function of one element hinders the development of all the other elements.
Reproductive health issues do not affect only women. Nevertheless, men have been sidelined in the issues affecting their reproductive health. Issues such as infertility, contraception, and sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) are some of the health issues that men also face. Even though, men are generally believed to be not concerned with their reproductive health as much as women are, recent studies have shown that more men are taking keen interest in their health today. The spread of infections and diseases such as low sperm count, testicular cancer, and impotence clearly emphasizes the fact that reproductive health issues do not affect only women (Dudgeon, and Inhorn, 2004).
Recent studies have indicated an increase in cases of men with reduced testosterone levels, increased cases of low sperm count, and different types of cancer that are diagnosed today. This problem is exacerbated mainly by the fact that most men do not go for medical checkups due to their busy lifestyles and/or personal prejudices (Sternberg, and Hubley, 2004). On the other hand, research also shows that infertility cases in young women have doubled, and other fertility related diseases such as fibroids and polycystic ovarian syndrome cases have increased tremendously for the past few years. However, women frequently visit the medical examination rooms making their symptoms easily diagnosed; therefore, their chances to reproduce and have healthy sexual lives are increased (Glasier 1605).
In conclusion, reproductive health issues affect both men and women. The influence of diseases and other new infections on the reproductive health of humans has increased the levels of infertility and demanded the use of contraceptives. Low sperm count, fibroids, impotence, and sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) are some of numerous reproductive issues that are affecting modern society albeit gender and age. The factors that increase the prevalence of these issues include age, lifestyle, and general health of a person. Reproductive health entails that the increased awareness of the health issues and regular medical checkups may help avoid such diseases or treat them successfully. In turn, this gives both men and women an opportunity to understand their health status and enjoy their everyday lives.
- Dudgeon, M. R., and M. C. Inhorn. (2004). “Men's Influences on Women's Reproductive Health: Medical Anthropological Perspectives.” Social Science & Medicine, 59(7), 1379-1395. Print.
- Figà-Talamanca, I. (2006). “Occupational Risk Factors and Reproductive Health of Women.” Occupational Medicine, 56(8), 521-531. Print.
- Glasier, Anna, et al. "Sexual and Reproductive Health: A Matter of Life and Death." The Lancet 368. 9547 (4 Nov. 2006): 1595-1607. Print.
- Sternberg, P., and J. Hubley. (2004). “Evaluating Men's Involvement as a Strategy in Sexual and Reproductive Health Promotion.” Health promotion international, 19(3), 389-396. Print.