Good sexual and reproductive health
is a state of wellbeing relating to reproduction and the body’s reproductive system.
It includes the ability to have a satisfying and safe sex life, the capability to reproduce
and to bear children safely, and the freedom and means to decide if, when,
and how often to have children. Sexual and reproductive health plays a prominent
role in overall health and is highly dependent on preventive measures that are taken
through healthy behaviors. Sexual and reproductive health depends on a good understanding
of and appropriate behaviors related to:
• Contraception, abortion, and infertility
• Sexually transmitted diseases
• Maternal health
• Reproductive cancers
• Urologic and gynecologic disorders
The goal of this and future blogs is to improve your understanding of sexual and reproductive
health, including how to avoid unintended pregnancies and births with contraception
and abortion, how to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and
provide information about the safety of childbirth
An important basis for sexual and reproductive health is knowledge. Sexuality
education enables people to make decisions about their sexuality and sexual health
that are informed, responsible, and healthy.1 In addition to attaining information,
sexuality education can facilitate the acquisition of life skills and the formation of
values that increase responsible behaviors, respect individual rights, and enhance
Sexuality education should contribute to mature, sexually healthy adults who:
• Have accurate information about human sexuality.
• Have developed their values, attitudes, and insights about sexuality.
• Are free to adopt their own gender identities and interact with all genders in
respectful and appropriate ways.
• Express love and intimacy in appropriate ways.
• Develop and maintain meaningful relationships.
• Avoid exploitative or manipulative relationships.
• Take responsibility for their behavior.
• Engage in sexual relationships that are consensual, non-exploitative, honest,
pleasurable, and healthy.
• Practice health-promoting behaviors, such as regular check-ups.
• Use contraception and abortion effectively to avoid unintended pregnancy
• Avoid contracting or transmitting a sexually transmitted disease, including
Comprehensive sex education that provides age-appropriate, medically accurate
information related to sexuality can effectively delay sexual activity among young
people and increase contraceptive use among sexually active youth. Abstinence only
and abstinence-only-until-marriage programs seek to control young people’s
sexual behavior, usually by instilling fear, shame, and guilt. These programs often
rely on negative messages about sexuality and distort information about condoms
and STIs. Evaluations have found that these programs have no beneficial impact
on young people’s sexual behavior.” Furthermore, to the extent that they ignore
contraception and the benefits of safer-sex practices generally, abstinence-only programs
do nothing to help prepare young people for when they will become sexually
Healthy living requires making informed and healthy choices about reproduction
based on an understanding of the benefits and risks relating to contraception, abortion,
sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and childbirth. Getting good information about reproductive health sometimes is complicated by the misinformation promulgated by opponents of various forms of contraception and abortion who exaggerate the risk of using contraception or having an abortion.
This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel.