Adequate healthcare is vital to good quality of life. However, reproductive healthcare can be a delicate subject and it can sometimes be neglected as a result. Here are five things you should know about reproductive healthcare.
1. Your Rights
The first things you need to know about reproductive healthcare are your rights. Like all types of healthcare, reproductive healthcare should acknowledge your voice and choices, what the law says about healthcare coverage and what regulations exist for specific treatment or care you require. You should be aware of laws protecting women’s reproductive autonomy, as well as any laws relating to abortion and restrictions of it in your state of residence.
2. Aspects of Reproductive Healthcare
There are many different aspects of reproductive healthcare. You may get preventive care through physical examinations and various screenings. There is care designed specifically to support and assist pregnancies and childbirth. You can also find care related to STD treatment, abortion and contraception. There is also a psychological component to reproductive health. You may need relationship counseling or resources for gender and sexual identity. Alternatively, you may need assistance after an incidence of domestic violence or sexual assualt. There are resources available for all these aspects of reproductive healthcare.
3. Preventive Healthcare
Ideally, you should seek preventive reproductive healthcare. This means you should get a general examination annually. For women, for example, this typically consistes of a gynecological exam and a Pap smear. Depending on your personal history, family history and doctor’s suggestions, you may need preventive care more or less often than annually, or start getting exams earlier than typical. For example, a woman would typically start getting mammograms done at age 40, but if her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at that age, she should begin getting mammograms at 35. Preventive healthcare is an effective way to screen for various issues and either prevent them from developing further or begin early treatment.
4. The Importance of Knowing Your Body
You need to be sure to know your body in order to get adequate reproductive healthcare. In other types of healthcare, this means knowing when something feels wrong or painful. In reproductive healthcare, you should be able to explain things that feel wrong or painful, but you also need to be aware of your menstrual cycle, your reproductive anatomy, your personal and family history with certain disorders or diseases and how to take care of your reproductive anatomy. This knowledge can assist your healthcare provide in ensuring you receive optimal care.
5. Open Communication
Above all, reproductive healthcare rests on open communication. You should be as honest as possible with your healthcare provider. If, for example, you’re sexually active but don’t want your friends or family to know, you don’t need to worry about telling your doctor. He or she should only care about your health and how he or she should approach your treatment plan. Being honest with your doctor ensures you’ll get the best possible treatment for your needs.
Remember, reproductive healthcare is as important as all other kinds of healthcare. To live a full, healthy life, you should take care of your reproductive health as much as you take care of all other aspects of your health.