We tend to focus so much emphasis and importance on our overall health and wellbeing. Dedicating hours of our time to working out in the gym or competing in sports. Women also invest plenty of money and time into buying healthy ingredients and preparing healthy, balanced meals. But there are aspects of our overall health and wellbeing that tend to go relatively neglected up until the point. These health concerns are causing us pain, discomfort, or inconvenience and sometimes infertility.
Reproductive health tends to fall into this category. If you are aware of the early signs of reproductive health issues, however, you have a much better chance of preventing or dealing with them. Here are just a few common reproductive health concerns that you should be aware of!
STIs and STDs
Let’s start with health concerns that can generally be easily avoided – STIs and STDs. STI stands for “sexually transmitted infection”. STD stands for “sexually transmitted disease”. These are infections or diseases that you can find yourself suffering from if you have unprotected sex with someone else who has one of these conditions. Some of the most commonly known are HIV (which develops into AIDS), herpes, syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. But there are more out there. These conditions can affect both men and women and each can have varying detrimental effects on your overall health and wellbeing.
Left undiagnosed or untreated, all can have significantly negative effects on your life, and some can even prove life threatening. The good news is that both STIs and STDs can easily be avoided if you take proper precautions when engaging in sexual activity. All you need to do is use a condom. The only 100% effective way to avoid these infections and diseases is abstinence. Condoms (used in the correct manner) significantly reduce your chances of contracting them.
If you are worried that you may have contracted an STI or STD, seek professional help as soon as possible. Don’t wait for symptoms to establish themselves. Instead, book in for a check up. You can receive results in a short period of time. These will either put your mind at rest or allow you to seek out the necessary help and treatment.
Infertility is more common among health concerns. Worldwide, around eight to ten percent of people are infertile – they have difficulties in either conceiving or carrying a child. There are different causes for this in men and women. However, it is estimated that the split of problems regarding fertility is around fifty-fifty between men and women. Neither sex is more likely to be infertile than the other.
Problems that tend to affect men include a low sperm count, low sperm mobility (or motility), and abnormal sperm. If you’re having difficulty conceiving, it’s a good idea to have these different factors checked out. A sperm count that falls below fifteen million per millilitre of semen is considered low. The average count totalling around forty eight million sperm per millilitre of semen.
Low sperm motility means that there are sufficient sperm, but they don’t reach the egg. Abnormal sperm can be caused by a whole manner of different medical conditions, overheated testicles, hormonal imbalance, and even ejaculation disorders.
For women, there are alternative factors that contribute to infertility. Age is perhaps the best known, as women’s fertility tends to significantly decrease from the age of thirty two onwards. Smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity, and STIs can all also affect fertility in both sexes. To know more about infertility or receive support on the topic, contact an infertility support group.
When a woman is pregnant, the fetus develops and the baby is carried in her uterus. Endometriosis is a medical condition in which the tissue that usually lines the uterus actually ends up establishing itself somewhere else. Common locations for it to grow include behind the ovaries, behind the uterus, on an individual’s bowls, or on their bladder. This, of course, can be relatively problematic. Tissue is required to create an environment in which a baby can grow and develop.
The condition can result in infertility. Individuals suffering from endometriosis may also experience heavy periods and pain in their lower back, abdomen, and pelvis. Many people suffering from endometriosis don’t actually have any symptoms at all. They’ll find out when they look further into having difficulty conceiving. If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your doctor. Your doctor will refer you to a specialist for diagnosis and treatment or management.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS, which stands for “polycystic ovary syndrome”. This is a condition in which a woman’s ovaries or adrenal glands produce more male hormones than is usually observed in female subjects. It can result in cysts developing on the individual’s ovaries. Symptoms may include increased or darker hair growth on the face, stomach, chest, hands, or feet, pelvic pain. Other symptoms could be baldness or thinning hair, or patches of thickened dark brown or black skin.
These are just a few different reproductive health issues that could affect you or someone you know at some point during your life. So, it’s a good idea to be aware of them and familiarise yourself with the potential symptoms and warning signs. This will help you to tackle them head on or at least have an idea of what you are experiencing!
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