Many women are keen on looking after their physical, mental, and emotional health. But another aspect that some often overlook is their reproductive health. Did you know that your reproductive health is also prone to illnesses, trauma, injuries, infections, and other health issues? These conditions that result from neglecting your reproductive health could affect your ability to get pregnant.
Remember that, like the rest of your health systems, your reproductive health is a complex and delicate part of your body. Thus, it’s essential to take the necessary steps to keep your reproductive system healthy and protect it from potential infections, injuries, and long-term illnesses.
This article will discuss the different ways you can protect your reproductive health.
- Engage In Safe Sex
Unsafe sex is one reason why women are at risk of reproductive health issues. Engaging in sexual activities without protection may make you susceptible to sexually transmitted infections (STI) and reproductive cancer. Furthermore, unprotected sex can also lead to unplanned or unwanted pregnancies.
Thus, practice safe sex at all times, especially if you’re sexually active. See a doctor to have yourself and your partner screened for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) tests. Limiting your sexual partners, or better yet, only having one, is also recommended. Before engaging in sexual activity, you may use a condom to avoid possible disease transmission.
If you weren’t able to protect yourself during sex and got pregnant at the most inconvenient time, it’s a woman’s choice whether to have the baby or not. In some cases, abortion may be the best option, especially if the woman has certain reproductive health conditions that may affect her well-being or the fetus. Ultimately, to avoid unwanted pregnancy and life-threatening sexual diseases, always remember to engage in safe sex.
- See Your Gynecologist For Regular Screening
As you age, there’s a tendency that your reproductive health will decline, especially if you’re not following a healthy lifestyle or if you’ve been neglecting your reproductive system for a while. So, if you haven’t sought help from a professional yet, now’s the time to see a trusted gynecologist and book regular appointments. You can use their preventive sexual health services, including infection tests, pap smears, sexually transmitted disease (STD) screening, Hepatitis C screening, HIV tests, and other tests designed to monitor your reproductive health and detect possible conditions.
The earlier these conditions are detected, the better the chance of recovery, treatment, and survival. Besides regular screening, your gynecologist may also provide counseling to help you make decisions that promote your reproductive health. Whether it’s about safe sex practices, family planning, birth controls, or the pill for abortion, your gynecologist is the most reliable person to answer these questions and concerns.
- Switch To A Healthier Diet
Your diet continues to take center stage in protecting your overall health, including your reproductive health. This is crucial, especially if you’re among those women with fertility issues. Eating a balanced diet can help you maintain a healthy body weight, which is linked to improving your reproductive health.
When choosing healthy foods for your diet, ensure to focus on those containing:
- Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
- Vegetable proteins
- Low carbohydrates
- Low glycemic index
These nutrients are known to help boost a woman’s reproductive system and promote fertility. Additionally, it’s advisable to increase your consumption of magnesium and calcium. Magnesium helps reduce dizziness, headaches, and sugar cravings known to cause premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Meanwhile, calcium can help alleviate depression, fatigue, and sugar cravings.
- Quit Smoking And Minimize Your Alcohol Intake
It’s common knowledge that smoking and overconsumption of alcohol can cause harmful effects to your overall health, such as cancer, addiction, and coronary diseases. But apart from these, smoking can also adversely affect your reproductive system. Women who are active smokers or constantly exposed to smoke could compromise their uterus and ovaries, affecting their fertility. Also, smoking during pregnancy could increase the risk of congenital disabilities in the newborn.
On the same note, excessive alcohol consumption can disrupt your normal menstrual cycle, leading to reproductive disorders, absence of ovulation, and irregular menstrual cycles. To protect your reproductive health from these adverse effects, you need to start avoiding these habits. Quitting both habits is a surefire way to preserve and protect your reproductive health and enhance your general health.
- Exercise Moderately
Lack of exercise may cause obesity, which can also interfere with your reproductive system’s proper hormone production and trigger abnormal hormone levels. This can result in changes in your sexual drive and cause reproductive issues such as infertility. On the other hand, exercising too much may cause your body to lose too much body fat, which will stop your reproductive system from ovulating, leading to fertility problems.
You can prevent these complications by exercising moderately. Physical activities like walking, jogging, gardening, cycling, or swimming can help you maintain a healthy weight and keep your metabolism in check without causing too much stress on your reproductive system.
- Practice Good Hygiene
Protecting your reproductive health also means protecting it from the outside through practicing good hygiene. So, clean your vagina daily to keep germs and bacteria at bay. However, be wary of using vaginal cleansing products (vaginal sprays or soap) that could be too harsh for your vagina. These products may contain toxic elements that could cause irritation, soreness, dryness, infections, or pelvic inflammatory diseases. It’s also advisable to avoid using scented napkins or tampons and opt for the unscented ones.
Other good hygiene practices to remember to protect your reproductive organs may include:
- Wearing cotton panties (not too loose or too tight)
- Cleansing your vagina with clean water and natural ingredients
- Avoid vigorous scrubbing
Protecting your reproductive health should be among your priorities when looking after your general health and wellness. So, keep these tips in mind and remember to quit those behaviors that could compromise the health of your reproductive system.