• With healthcare system burdened, here are practical tips, from diet control to safe sex
Maintaining reproductive health is crucial for women's overall well-being. However, women still face various challenges in accessing adequate reproductive healthcare.
In this article, we will provide some tips on how women can maintain their reproductive health to encourage them to prioritise it.
1. Schedule Regular Check-Ups
Regular check-ups with a healthcare provider are essential for maintaining reproductive health. Dr Jane van Dis, an obstetrician-gynaecologist, recommends that women schedule a check-up with their healthcare provider at least once a year. "Annual visits are an excellent opportunity for healthcare providers to address any concerns, provide guidance on family planning and conduct any necessary tests," Dr van Dis says.
2. Practise Safe Sex
Practising safe sex is an important aspect of reproductive health. Dr Sherry Ross, an obstetrician-gynaecologist, emphasises the importance of using condoms and other forms of contraception to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies.
"It's essential to use protection during sex to prevent STIs and unintended pregnancies. If you're sexually active, make sure you talk to your healthcare provider about the best birth control options for you," Dr Ross says.
3. Get Vaccinated
Vaccines can protect against certain types of STIs and other reproductive health issues. Dr Hilda Hutcherson, an obstetrician-gynecologist, recommends that women get vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause cervical cancer. "The HPV vaccine is safe and effective and can protect against several strains of the virus that can cause cervical cancer," Dr Hutcherson says.
4. Eat a Healthy Diet
Maintaining a healthy diet is essential for overall health, including reproductive health. Dr Lisa Dabney, an obstetrician-gynaecologist, recommends that women eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. "A healthy diet can help regulate hormones, prevent chronic diseases and maintain a healthy weight, which can all have a positive impact on reproductive health," Dr Dabney says.
5. Manage Stress
Stress can have a negative impact on reproductive health. Dr Kecia Gaither, an obstetrician-gynaecologist, recommends that women practise stress-reducing activities, such as meditation, yoga or deep breathing exercises. "Stress can disrupt the menstrual cycle and affect fertility. Taking steps to manage stress can help improve reproductive health," Dr Gaither says.
Therefore, maintaining reproductive health is essential for women's overall well-being. By scheduling regular check-ups, practising safe sex, getting vaccinated, eating a healthy diet and managing stress, women can take control of their reproductive health and prevent potential health issues.
As Dr Ross emphasises, "Women's reproductive health should not be overlooked or ignored. It's essential to prioritise reproductive health and talk to a healthcare provider about any concerns or issues." This is also a way of empowering them and should be adhered to.