Women's reproductive health encompasses a wide spectrum of factors. While issues such as such fertility, pregnancy and childbirth have, for years, been the point of focus, other factors such as infertility, family planning, reproductive health complications have previously gone unspoken. But this is changing as they are now coming to the forefront.
More and more women have began speaking about their struggle to get or stay pregnant, feeling like they have no control over when and how many times they get pregnant, and the problems they've been plagued with throughout their reproductive years such as fibroids and cysts, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, among others. Other topics that are also veiled in mystery include matters menopause and invasive procedures such as hysterectomies.
While the morality of contraception and family planning is still a hotly debated topic, it's still one that needs to be addressed. In a 2014 study, it was found that married women have less control over their health and healthcare needs. As part of their empowerment, women need to be educated on how to gain control over their reproductive health instead of leaving it solely to the purview of the man.
Part of this education needs to focus on infertility and how to cope when your reproductive years have reached their sunset. Speaking about these challenges, reading about others' struggles and connecting with those who are in a similar situation will provide immeasurable support to all women.
According to UNFPA, reproductive and sexual health and rights are not only a human right but are essential for us to attain sustainable development.
This month on Eve we're tackling these and more as we seek to equip all women with the necessary knowledge on their reproductive health.