When you aren’t ready to be pregnant, you might not think about whether or not it will be an option available to you if the time becomes right down the road. What you do today can impact your reproductive health now and in the future.
Your reproductive system is responsible for supporting pregnancy and birth, and reproductive health is about how well your reproductive system functions. The World Health Organization (WHO) says it well when describing reproductive health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Read on to learn more about why it’s so important to keep a close eye on your reproductive health.
How to Protect Your Reproductive Health: Why You Should Monitor It
Reproductive health is not only vital to your fertility but also to your overall health and well-being. Monitor your reproductive health is important to:
1. Prevent disease and complications
The saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” rings true when it comes to your reproductive health.
First, your gynecologist offers valuable education at your routine visits. They will advise you on how often you should be screened for physical sicknesses such as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), cervical cancer, and diabetes.
Another aspect of routine reproductive health visits is that it allows your healthcare provider to talk with you about issues including family planning, urinary incontinence, emotional anxiety, and domestic violence.
See your gynecologist every year — even if you don’t have symptoms — to prevent diseases and their complications. It will also allow your doctor a chance to catch problems early, so you have a higher chance for a better outcome.
2. Diagnose and treat STDs early
STDs can lead to long-term pain and infertility. One in five people in the United States has an STD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The problem is that you typically have symptoms like pain or fevers when you have an infection. But this is not so with gonorrhea and chlamydia. In fact, chlamydia is known as the “silent infection.”
It’s not uncommon for women to go many years with undiagnosed and untreated STDs leading to long-term pelvic pain and infertility. By following CDC screening guidelines, STDs can be caught as soon as possible. Early detection decreases the chance of spreading STDs to others and prevents permanent damage to your reproductive organs.
3. Protect your future reproductive options
Even if you have no plans to become pregnant soon, now is the time to protect your future reproductive options by monitoring your reproductive health. Many conditions can lead to future infertility, so protect yourself now in the following ways:
- Get routine STD screenings.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Don’t smoke.
- Practice “safe” sex. The best way to practice “safe” sex is to have a single partner for life.
Willowbrook Women’s Center Offers You Support
Hopefully, the tips we’ve discussed here have encouraged you to monitor your reproductive health. If you are pregnant, you may qualify for STD testing at Willowbrook Women’s Center at no cost to you. Contact us today for your confidential appointment.