There is not much more important than reproductive health for a woman’s health. To have a healthy pregnancy and maintain a healthy lifestyle afterward, your body needs to be in tip-top shape. What does this mean? Well, you may need to work on improving your diet through nutritious food choices, exercising regularly through activities like walking or yoga, and getting enough sleep for your body to recharge at night. These are all things that will help keep your reproductive health in check.
Seeing a health care professional regularly
This is also important to maintaining reproductive health. For example, getting regular pap smears and mammograms can help you detect cancer early on when it is easiest to treat. If visiting your family doctor or gynecologist feels like a chore or inconvenience for you, ask yourself why that might be. You should also know how you can work toward changing your feelings about seeing a medical professional regularly (like making an appointment during a time of day when there is no traffic, etc.)?
Perhaps you could even consider changing doctors if the one you currently see does not make you feel comfortable enough to share what is going on in your life with them (whether it’s mental stress, physical pain like menstrual cramps, etc.).
As long as we live our lives and interact with other people, there will never be any guarantees for our health. If you are experiencing anything that concerns you or that you need some reassurance about, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor if something is wrong.
The importance of abortion care
While abortion is not the only type of reproductive health service that a woman may need in her lifetime, it is an important one. For many women, getting an abortion can be a difficult decision. But it is one that they should not have to make alone.
That’s why it is so important for professionals specializing in abortions available to women who need them and those providers to offer quality care. This includes providing accurate information about abortion procedures, respecting patients’ decisions, and being supportive throughout the entire process.
The need for contraception
Another essential part of reproductive health is contraception. This includes both barrier and hormonal methods, and it is crucial to find one that works best for you. If you are not happy with your current method or would like to explore other options, talk to your doctor about what might be the best choice for you.
There are many types of contraception available, and each one has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. It is crucial to find the proper method to feel confident in your choice and use it correctly every time.
The importance of mental health
Last but not least, it’s crucial to remember that reproductive health extends beyond our physical bodies. Our mental health is equally important, and it may need some attention at specific points in our lives. If you do not feel like yourself or are getting too much for yourself, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone close to you (like a partner, family member, etc.) or even a professional (like your doctor).
Having support available can make all the difference in feeling empowered about reproductive health care. While taking care of ourselves is crucial, having people by our side who love and support us makes that journey just a bit easier.
It may also help to remember that you are not alone in this. Many other women have felt or feel the same way that you do, and by talking about it, we can support each other through whatever reproductive health-related issues we are facing.
The abortion stigma
Unfortunately, abortion is still heavily stigmatized in many societies across the world. Despite abortion being legal in Canada, women can face obstacles when accessing abortion services or even just feeling comfortable talking about abortion with someone else. For example, some people may not realize that abortion is a safe procedure that is performed by medical professionals (doctors and nurses) — not only by “abortionists.”
This misinformation often leads to fear surrounding abortion care, which results in people making assumptions about what goes on in abortion clinics without any real knowledge. This makes it harder for women to freely talk about their experiences receiving abortion services, contributing to the silence surrounding this aspect of reproductive health. Being familiar with abortion also helps people identify abortion stigma when they see it.
All of this contributes to abortion being treated differently from other shared experiences, precisely what abortion stigma is. When abortion is stigmatized, abortion itself becomes the problem rather than the reasons why someone would seek abortion care—like financial hardship or not wanting (more) children at that time.
What can you do?
Don’t let yourself be discouraged by the abortion stigma. If you are struggling with any reproductive health issue, don’t feel ashamed. And don’t make your friends or family feel ashamed either. Talk freely about your experiences if you need to (with people who won’t keep it a secret). Acknowledge the obstacles you’ve faced while getting care. Advocate for abortion rights and access by donating to an abortion fund, volunteering for abortion clinics, protesting abortion bans, or talking about abortion with your friends.
Reproductive health is an essential aspect of our lives that should be taken seriously. By understanding the different aspects of reproductive health, we can make informed decisions about our own bodies and care for ourselves in the best way possible.