Reproductive health

Reproductive health

Within the framework of WHO's definition of health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, reproductive health, or sexual health/hygiene, addresses the reproductive processes, functions and system at all stages of life. [cite web|url=|title=WHO: Reproductive health|accessdate=2008-08-19] Reproductive health, therefore, implies that people are able to have a responsible, satisfying and safe sex life and that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so. Implicit in this are the right of men and women to be informed of and to have access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of fertility regulation of their choice, and the right of access to appropriate health care services that will enable women to go safely through pregnancy and childbirth and provide couples with the best chance of having a healthy infant.

According to the WHO, "Reproductive and sexual ill-health accounts for 20% of the global burden of ill-health for women, and 14% for men." [cite web| title = Reproductive Health Strategy - World Health Organization | url = | accessdate = 2008-07-24]

Childbearing and health

Waiting until mother is at least 18 years old before trying to have children improves maternal and child health.cite web |url= | title = Healthy Timing and Spacing of Pregnancy: HTSP Messages | publisher = USAID |accessdate=2008-05-13]

If an additional child is desired, it is considered healthier for mother, as well as for the succeeding child, to wait at least 2 years after previous birth before attempting to conceive (but not more than 5 years). After a miscarriage or abortion, it is healthier to wait at least 6 months.

International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), 1994

The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) was held in Cairo, Egypt, from 5 to 13 September 1994. Delegations from 179 States took part in negotiations to finalize a Programme of Action on population and development for the next 20 years. Some 20,000 delegates from various governments, UN agencies, NGOs, and the media gathered for a discussion of a variety of population issues, including immigration, infant mortality, birth control, family planning, and the education of women.

The document [] endorses a new strategy which emphasizes the numerous linkages between population and development and focuses on meeting the needs of individual women and men rather than on achieving demographic targets.

Key to this new approach is empowering women and providing them with more choices through expanded access to education and health services and promoting skill development and employment. The Programme advocates making family planning universally available by 2015, or sooner, as part of a broadened approach to reproductive health and rights, provides estimates of the levels of national resources and international assistance that will be required, and calls on Governments to make these resources available.

The Programme of Action includes goals in regard to education, especially for girls, and for the further reduction of infant, child and maternal mortality levels. It also addresses issues relating to population, the environment and consumption patterns; the family; internal and international migration; prevention and control of the HIV/AIDS pandemic; information, education and communication; and technology, research and development.

Millenium Development Goals

Universal global access to reproductive health by 2015 is part of "Goal 5" - "Improving Maternal Health" - of the eight Millenium Development Goals [cite web| url= |author=UN| title=Tracking the Millenium Developement Goals| access date=08-26-2008]


* [ Global Policy Committee of the World Health Organization] , 2 May 1994; and the WHO Position paper on health, Population and Development, Cairo 5-13 September 1994
* [ ICPD] '94 Summary of the Programme of Action

See also

* Contraceptive security
* Demography
* ICPD: International Conference on Population and Development
* POPLINE: World's largest reproductive health database
** The INFO Project
* Reproductive rights

* Public Health
* Safer sex
* Sexual health clinic

* Men's health
* Women's health
** Vulvovaginal health

* Reproductive system disease

* Infertility
** Reproductive endocrinology and infertility

* Organizations:
** Association of Reproductive Health Professionals
** EngenderHealth
** Guttmacher Institute

External links

* [ CDC Division of Reproductive Health]
* [ F-risky... are you?] - information on all aspects of sexual health
* [ Deptartment of Population, Family and Reproductive Health] The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
* [ Resources for HIV/AIDS and Sexual and Reproductive Health Integration] The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for Communication Programs
* [ The Johns Hopkins INFO Project] —a knowledge-sharing resource on family planning and reproductive health
* [ "SexInfo"] University of California, Santa Barbara
* [ A CICRED book for download on reproductive health]
* [ One Source Reproductive Health search results]
* [ Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights] Network that links grassroots organizations

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