Published by: Mandira
Published Date: 12 Jan 2022
Health is fundamentally and intrinsically important to living a worthwhile human life. Good health itself is an end of all human endeavors. Health inhabits access to opportunities in education, work, income earning, political and cultural participation and other salient and value dimensions of human life. Good health has broadly and appropriately been defined as a condition of overall human well- being. But, the status of health is described and assessed here in relation to reproductive health. The Interrelation Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) program defined reproductive health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, but also imparting sound knowledge in all matters relating to the reproductive system and its function and process'.
Reproductive health is a condition when women and men enjoy a satisfying and safe sex and the capacity to reproduce offspring and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do sex. All people have the right to access safe, effective, affordable family planning of their choice, as well as appropriate maternal care to ensure safe pregnancy and childbirth and bring up a healthy child. Such services will also help to protect women and men from HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. Empowering women with knowledge and awareness about health is fundamental to achieving global health.
The reproductive health embraces human growth and development, mother and child care, human reproduction, immunization, nutrition, maternal mortality, family planning and other related activities. The aim of reproductive health is to improve the quality of life of the family. So, the concept of reproductive health was bought in light in 1994 A.D. from the international conference on population and development held in Cairo.
Aspects of Reproductive Health
Reproductive health includes the structure and functioning of the reproductive system. Besides, the physical and emotional changes associated with the development process come under reproductive health. The physical, mental and social well-being of a person is highly affected by reproductive process and nature of family.
Therefore, various aspects of life which are related to reproductive health and happy life are described below:
The ability to reproduce is one of the properties which distinguish living from non- living matter, the process is one of sexual reproduction in which the male and female organs differ anatomically and physiologically. The difference between male and female are due to the difference between the reproductive organ, testes and ovaries, which produce the reproductive cells, spermatozoa and ova respectively. These reproductive organs produce numerous minute spermatozoa to store them and to transfer them to the reproductive messages of the smaller number of eggs and to provide the young with a suitable place to grow and with nourishment during the early part of its life.
In man, as in all the higher animals, the function of reproduction is connected with special apparatus. The reproductive organs of male and female are customarily divided into internal and external genitalia. For descriptive purpose, the reproductive system is divided into main two parts, they are: Male reproductive system and Female reproductive system.
The male reproductive system consists of many organs. Some of these organs and their functions are given below:
Testes are the male gonads and called male reproductive glands. There are two testes in male situated in a pouch like structure and protected by a muscles called scrotum. The testes are connected with wide and coiled tube called epididymis which connects the testes with vas deferens.
This is a straight tube about forty cm long which carries sperm to the urethra. There are two vas differentia connected with the epididymis of two testes.
There are two seminal vesicles lying just below the urinary bladder. They secret mucus and a watery alkaline fluid that contains nutrients. Seminal vesicle empties its fluid that contains into the ejaculatory duct the process of ejaculation of sperms. Besides there are one prostrate and helps in neutralizing the acidity of sperms. Beside there are one prostate gland and helps in neutralizing the acidity of urine and keeps the sperms healthy.
The penis is made up involuntary and erectile tissues. It is covered by a layer of skin. It surrounds the urethra. The tip of penis is called glens penis. When the male is sexually excited this tissue fills with blood causing the penis to become erect. During sexual inter course ejaculation of the epididymis, vas deferens and the male accessory glands.
The process of flow of blood, along with unfertilized eggs through the vagina every month during their fertility period is called menstruation. This is also considered untouchable period in some communities. This process is controlled by cyclic secretion of hormones and repeats every month so it is called menstrual cycle. A menstrual cycle is of twenty eight days in an average though it varies slightly according to the health condition of females. The first day of menstruation is counted the first day of a menstrual cycle.
Menstruation is under the control of nervous system. The hypothalamus situated in the brain secrets Gonado- Trophin releasing hormone which stimulates the anterior pituitary gland for the secretion of follicle stimulating hormone and Luteinizing hormone (LH).
The follicle stimulating hormone and Luteinizing hormone stimulate the ovary cells for the formation and maturation of one follicle which consist of the ovum inside it. Besides, these hormones stimulate the secretion of Oestrogen and Progesterone in female's body. Oestrogen and progesterone help in the thickening of the inner wall of uterus or endometrium for the reception of fertilized eggs and its development. The thickening of endometrium starts immediately after the end of menstrual flow and becomes maximums during the middle of menstrual cycle. This is called proliferates. Thus, stage O estrogen and progesterone help in the formation of the wall of uterus to the thick layer of endometrium secretes a white sticky fluid until the period of mensuration and this phase is called secretary phase.
After ovulation the egg or ovum reaches the fallopian tube. In the meantime, if sperms reach the fallopian tube through the uterus by sexual intercourse, the fusion between sperm and ovum take place. The fusion of sperm and ovum is called fertilization. If the fertilization dose not commence within seventy two hours, then the fertilized egg degenerates. Fertilization of ovum in the fallopian tube helps to live the thick layer of endometrium but in absences of fertilization due to the hormonal influence, the thick endometrium bursts and the blood and unfertilized egg comes out through the vagina. This process of flow of blood along with the unfertilized egg is referred as menstruation. After mensuration the endometrium cleans up and secretion of hormones from pituitary gland begins a new menstrual cycle.
Factors to be considered during menstruation:
Menstruation is a natural process and controlled by hormonal changes in females. However, this process is associated with many problems in them. Some females experience the problems of stomach ache, backache, and overflow of blood, giddiness and sickness during the menstruation period. Due to the physical problems, they may go also get mental tension. So, it is important to consider the following measures during menstruation.
Sex and Reproductive Right
Reproductive process is a natural and biological phenomenon. But, it needs to be safe, protective and pro-motive for healthy living. The means and measures adopted for safe, protective and healthy reproductive are mentioned as sex and reproductive rights.
The international conference of human rights held at Tehran in 1968 A.D. has accepted that every couple must have the right to determine their family size and child's birth gap. It indicated that reproductive right has been considered similar to human right. The international conference on population and development held at Cairo in 1994 A.D. has brought the theme of reproductive rights in an organized form.
The sex and reproductive rights as brought forward by these two conventions are given in the following points:
All the concerned agencies of our society should involve actively securing the sex and reproductive rights. We are free to decide on the aspects like age to marriage, the number of children to have, the gap between the children and the ways of living happy life. We got the information on these matters from schools, homes and different media like newspaper, radios, television, etc. When we use the knowledge gained from different sources in the matter related to various aspects of sex and reproductive health, than only it influences for happy and healthy life.
Safe motherhood is considered as an important part of reproductive health. It includes various measures used to protect a mother from the problems related to pregnancy and delivery. A mother has to struggle for life while giving birth to a child. In this context, the International Convention on Population and Environment held in Cairo, the capital city of Egypt, has reported the death of annual five lakhs women in the world from the problems related to pregnancy in the decade of 1990. Moreover, a target is made to reduce this rate to 1. 25 lakh by 2015 A.D. Safe motherhood is the part of reproductive health and rights. It is the process of giving birth without any harm and injury during delivery and the cases done during pregnancy. In Nepal, many females die each year due to the complicated pregnancy and the problem of childbirth. To achieve this goal, mother's health should be made well. She should be provided with the nutritious diet. She should properly care in every respect of the complications. Safe motherhood is series of guidelines consequences during delivery.
It teaches us to perform the following aspects:
Safe motherhood begins before conception with proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle and continues with appropriate prenatal care the prevention of complications when possible, and the early and effective treatment of complications.
The following services should be considered in safe motherhood
During the sexual intercourse sperms are deposited in the vagina. These sperm pass through the uterus and find their way into the uterine tubes. In the uterine tube the sperms penetrate the ova which results in the fusion of sperm with ova and produces fertilized ova.
After the fertilization the fertilized ovum continues its journey down the tube towards the uterus which takes about a week. It then becomes embedded in the wall of the uterus, which gives rise to the formation of an entirely new complete human being, and it is called the conception.
Symptoms of Conception
Following symptoms may be observed after the conception:
Hazards of Conception
In the second stage the body is born. The baby is pushed out of the uterus and down the vagina, usually head first. The mother experiences sweating, vomiting and severe pain during this stage. As soon as, the baby is born and he/she starts breathing normally. The umbilical is clamped at two places and cut between the clamps.
The third stage of labor is considered the stage of discharge of placenta by powerful contraction of uterus. The placenta comes away from the wall of the uterus and passes out through the vagina. Genitals should be thoroughly cleaned after discharging placenta and mucus. The placenta should be buried.
Reproduction is brought by the activity of the male and female essential sex organs. The testis and ovaries, producing male and female sex cells, these are known as sperms and ova. The male sex cells- sperms deposited in the vagina during copulation, can survive about twenty four hours. The sperms are very long tail, which enable them to make their way towards the female cell, the ovum.The ovum is a female sex cell which s produced by the ovary every month after the menstruation. The ovum or ova have a life of about forty eight hours. The ova are received by the fallopian tube and pass towards the uterus. When a sperm meets an ovum and fuses with it, which normally takes place in the uterine tube, it is called the fertilization and a new cell is formed, which is the fertilized ovum. The fertilized ova receive twenty three chromosomes from each parent. It receives forty four ordinary chromosomes and two sex chromosomes. The sex chromosomes are x and y. The sperm carries the twenty two X chromosomes and one Y chromosomes, whereas the ovum contains twenty two ordinary chromosomes and X chromosomes. Thus forty four plus XY (the x from mother and y from father) produce male.
The period after the conception to the birth of the baby is known as pregnancy period. The period of pregnancy is about 280 days. The possible date of delivery can be calculated by adding nine months seven days with the date of conception or the last menstruation.
The hazards of pregnancy are given below:
Pregnancy is an important period. Special care is need at the time of pregnancy.
Some implications for the care of a pregnant woman are given below:
Birth and Labour
After the completion of certain time period, the birth of the baby takes place. About after 280 days, the baby comes out of the vagina along with the placenta and mucus. The baby begins to press for its exit. This press is called as labour or the period from when the baby begins to press to come out up to the discharge of the cord and placenta is known as labour period.
Pregnancy is an important phase in the reproduction of a mother. The reproduction life of a female starts with men ache and ends with menopause. Pregnancy can be defined as the physiological condition of a woman that starts with the birth of the conception and lasts with the birth of the baby. The normal period of pregnancy is generally considered nine months and seven days or 280 days. However, fertilization occurs fourteen days prior to the date of the expected missed period. Therefore, the exact duration of pregnancy is 280 to fourteen or sixty days.
The following are signs and symptoms are observed during pregnancy:
Problems during Pregnancy
There are various types of problem that are observed during pregnancy period. These problems are categorized as minor and major problems. As the pregnancy period is special stage, many pregnant woman face various problems. Pregnant woman should be handled with care. It is very sensitive stage.
Minor problems of Pregnancy
Major problems of pregnancy
Pregnancy is a serious case. Woman face various problems during this stage. Some women's pregnancy is completed without any problems. But some women have to face complex and major problems. Some of the major problems are described below:
The health services provided to the women during pregnancy, delivery and lactating period and to the children under the age of the five with an aim of improving their health condition are called maternal and child health care. Lack of attention in maternal and child health care is the main cause of untimely death of the mother and children in the worth. Improvement in the community health is impossible unless there is significant progress in the maternal and child health care. The condition of maternal and child health care is very poor in the developing country nations like ours in comparison to the developed nations. The health status of developing nations is deteriorating due to high maternal, infant and child mortality rates. It is highly imperative to bring significant improvement in maternal and child health care to improve condition of the country.
The following points reflect the importance of maternal and child health care:
A child resides in the mother's womb for around nine month and the birth of a fully developed infant takes place. All the members should extend necessary support during the period to achieve safe motherhood. Adverse effects may appear in safe motherhood in absence of a good harmony among the family members. Thus, family members have a vital role for safe motherhood. The life of birth, the mother and the baby can be protected from the untimely death by necessary support from the family members.
Care of pregnant women
A healthy mother can give birth to a healthy baby. So, it is crucial to take care of the health of a woman since the starting of pregnancy. For this, a nutritious diet, regular health check- up, cleanliness, exercise, rest and immunization against diseases are important points to be considered.
Care during delivery
The end of pregnancy is marked by the labour. It is a highly complicated stage, so women should be intensively taken care during their stage. This stage consists of three phases. The cervix dilates and the labour starts in the first phase. The baby is born in the second phase and the placenta comes out from the wall of the uterus and passes through the vagina in the third phase.
The following care should be taken during the delivery of a baby:
Care for postnatal mother
The period between delivery and two months after delivery is called postnatal period. The infant entirely depends on the mother for his survival in this period. So, proper care should be provided to both the mother and infant during the period.
Some of the ways to provide care to the mother or infant are as follows:
Infant health care
An average weight of three kilogram and height of fifty centimeter is considered appropriate for a newly born baby. The weight should be three times more than the weight of birth and height should be seventy five centimeters after completing one year in the average if the child attains healthy growth and development.
An infant should be taken care of as follows:
The mother's milk is considered the best nutrition for an infant. Breast feeding should be done to a newly born baby for the first four month. Mother,s milk provides sufficient nutrition and develops a strong immune system to fight against diseases. Nourishing the infants with the packet milk and other animal milks is not considered appropriate from the perspective of health at the beginning of child nutrition.
Breast Feeding has got the following advantages:
The following table has shown the nutritional requirement of children up to two years of age:
|Age group||Food items|
|0-5 months||Mothers milk|
|5-6 months||Mothers milk, lotto and mashed vegetables.|
|6-9 months||Mothers milk, lotto and mashed vegetables and soft fruits.|
|1-2 years||Mothers milk, rice, pulses, lotto, dal, cereals, green vegetables, egg, meat, milk, butter, etc.|
Points for attention
The process of giving birth to new ones is known as reproduction. Unicellular creatures reproduce their offspring through cell division. Some lay eggs and some give birth to baby. Females becomes pregnant due to fertilization of sperm and ovum after fertilization. The foetus developed in uterus and it takes birth after some specific time.
Female Reproductive System
The female reproductive organs are classified into two types: internal and external organ. The internal organs play vital role in human reproduction. The internal organ of female are described below:
Vagina is made up of connective, fibrous, and epithelial tissue. It is cannel of 10-15 cm length from opening to the cervix of uterus. The main function of vagina is to receive penis ans sperm during sexual contact, passing blood during menstruation and passing out the baby during delivery.
It is a hollow muscular organ between urinary bladder and rectum. Uterus has three parts. Upper parts is "fundus", middle part is "body" and the lower part is "cervix". It is place where ovum is fertilized and baby is grown. After the puberty, menstruation starts in girls. At that time thick layer of blood is prepared in endometrium. If fertilization takes place foetus develops in the suitable environment of endometrium, otherwise the thick layer of blood crumbles and passes through vagina every month.
The length of Fallopian tube is 10 cm. It ends towards ovary. Main function of Fallopian tube is to transport a ovum to the uterus each month and it is also the place where conception takes place.
There are two ovaries if female. They are made up of connective tissue. Ovary is female gonad which produce oestrogen andprogesterone hormone required for the development of women.