A person’s sexual health is essential to their overall health and happiness, as it ensures they can engage in sexual activity without fear of harassment, abuse, or harm.
This right can be exercised by those who have access to sexual and reproductive health care. Reproductive health care can include the treatment of STDs or other sexually transmitted diseases, or it can be geared toward promoting reproductive autonomy by offering options like birth control and safe abortions.
Availability of birth control
Contraception access is an integral part of sexual and reproductive health services. By allowing individuals to control when and if they become pregnant, contraception grants them agency over their reproductive lives.
Providers of sexual and reproductive healthcare empower patients to make educated decisions about their fertility futures by providing a range of contraceptive options. A woman can avoid pregnancy with an IUD for up to 12 years, or she can choose a barrier device like the condom, which not only prevents pregnancy but also shields against STDs.
The freedom to decide whether or not to get pregnant can have far-reaching effects on a person’s autonomy. When people have the freedom to make their own decisions about reproduction, they are better able to chart their own courses for the future.
Abortion rights for women who need them
Abortion services for women will always be necessary. Over one-third of all pregnancies end in abortion worldwide, and millions of women have abortions every year since no method of birth control is foolproof.
One of the ways someone’s access is limited is by the social stigma that surrounds issues of sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Negative cultural norms, such as the notion that only certain people should have access to sexual and reproductive health services, propagate stigma, leading to misunderstandings and even the avoidance of care in some situations.
What is the significance of sexual and reproductive health?
When it comes to an individual’s well-being, sexual and reproductive health cannot be ignored. The human rights to health, freedom from sexual violence, and the choice to become pregnant all contribute to the right to sexual and reproductive autonomy.
Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) can contribute to gender equality by encouraging young women to complete their education. Information, care, and choices for individual women are at the heart of women’s empowerment and sexual and reproductive health rights, not what a government, religious philosophy, or family member wants.