The average woman spends approximately 30 years of her life coping with reproductive health issues. From puberty to menopause, there are numerous situations that women face on a daily basis, be it PMS symptoms, healthy intimacy, trying to conceive, miscarriage, and much more. This is where reproductive health counseling comes in.
Integrated Counseling and Wellness is a dedicated provider of reproductive health counseling to Rexburg-area residents, and our goal is to help you navigate the complexities of family planning and related issues.
What is Reproductive Health Counseling?
Reproductive health counseling is a unique program aimed at helping women deal with the emotional concerns and daily challenges pertaining to hormones, the menstrual cycle, sexual health, and pregnancy. Because reproductive health events are considered as major transitions that can and will affect every aspect of a woman’s life, appropriate counseling serves as a coping mechanism to help maintain your health and well-being.
Counseling is specially designed to help you cope more effectively with the following:
- Symptoms of PMS and menopause
- Conceiving vs. adopting vs. living child-free
- Postpartum depression
- Pregnancy decision-making
- Traumatic childbirth
- Assisted reproductive technologies
- Infertility and third-party reproduction
- Premature ovarian failure
- And more.
Why is Reproductive Health Important?
The state of reproductive health is one where an individual is in possession of physical, mental and social well-being. It deals with all aspects of the reproductive process and mechanisms in every stage of life.
Reproductive health means that a couple is able to have satisfying personal relations and adequate knowledge and resources in order to reproduce at their own time and pace. Women must have access to effective and affordable healthcare services in order to proceed with a healthy pregnancy and childbirth, as well as to maximize the chances of having a healthy child.
Factors Affecting Reproductive Health
Reproductive health is affected by a broad scope of variables throughout an individual’s life, including:
- Economic circumstances
- Living conditions and familial relationships
- Education and environment
- Social and gender relationships
- Traditional and legal structures
- The status of women in society
- Women’s education (or lack thereof)
- Women’s empowerment (or lack thereof)
Who is Most Affected by Reproductive Health Problems?
Women are affected by reproductive health problems significantly more than their male counterparts. In fact, 36% of the healthy years of life among women of reproductive age are lost due to the risk of unregulated fertility, unwanted pregnancies, maternal mortality, and sexually transmitted diseases – to name a few. For men of reproductive age, this number is about 12%.
Furthermore, young people of both genders are at a higher risk of reproductive health problems due to their limited knowledge and lack of access to appropriate resources.
What Reproductive Health Services Include
Although reproductive health services vary from country to country based on the above factors, the core focus of these services will typically include:
- Family planning
- STD prevention
- Maternal mortality prevention
- Harmful practices
- Unwanted pregnancies
- Gender-based violence
- Reproductive tract cancers
These services must be easily accessible to individuals of reproductive age and include education, counseling, and management of all types of issues.
There are 6 phases of reproductive health that counseling can address, as follows:
- Pre-Pregnancy – A diagnosed mental health disorder should never prevent a woman from having children. However, this type of diagnosis means that you may require an increased level of support to ensure that you maintain physical and emotional health both during and after the birth.
- Pregnancy – Although all women experience challenges during pregnancy that affect every aspect of their life, some women find it harder to cope with these changes than others. Common disorders that have their onset during pregnancy are Major Depressive Disorder and various Anxiety Disorders, requiring support from healthcare professionals.
- Postpartum – During the year after the birth of a child, many women experience a substantial drop in hormone levels. This, combined with changes in responsibility can trigger the onset of Postpartum Blues, Major Depressive Disorder, as well as Bipolar, Psychotic and Anxiety Disorders.
- Pregnancy Loss – Every type of loss is different, and yet common feelings that a woman may experience during this time include shock, confusion, anger, fear, loneliness, guilt or even depression. There is no fixed order to when these feelings may or may not surface during the grieving period, and intensity can range from mild to severe.
- Infertility – Up to 15% of couples learn that they may have difficulty having children, and over 50% of women who seek infertility treatment report that fertility treatment was the most stressful time of their life. Infertility often triggers grief, anxiety and depression, and may interfere with the ability to conceive.
- PMS – Up to 40% of women experience premenstrual symptoms that are physical, behavioral or emotional in nature. When symptoms persist and greatly affect a woman’s daily life, PMS may be diagnosed as a disorder.
If you seek comprehensive reproductive health counseling in Rexburg, ID, please contact the professionals at Integrated Counseling and Wellness today.