What reproductive health is
Reproductive health includes:
- a state of physical, mental and social wellbeing in matters relating to the reproductive system
- the ability to have a safe and satisfying sex life
- the ability and freedom to have a child if, when and how often you choose to
- the ability to have a healthy pregnancy, safe delivery and healthy baby.
Good reproductive health includes having access to:
- information and family planning services
- health care, including preventive screening, diagnosis and treatment of reproductive issues, abortion services, and pregnancy and delivery care
- health care and support in cases of family, domestic and sexual violence
- protection from, and treatment of, sexually transmissible infections (STI).
Many things can affect the reproductive health system or result in infertility, including:
- early or delayed puberty
- menstrual problems
- cancers that affect the reproductive system, such as cervical, ovarian, breast, prostate and testicular cancers
- polycystic ovarian syndrome
- uterine fibroids
- erectile dysfunction
- low sperm count.
Why reproductive health is important
Reproductive health is an important part of a person’s overall physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing, as well as quality of life. Good reproductive health enables people to have children if and when they choose to.
Reproductive health in Australia
Fertility problems affect about 1 in 9 Australian couples of reproductive age. The number of couples who need fertility treatments to become pregnant is increasing. Reasons include:
- fertility issues experienced by men (about 40%)
- fertility issues experienced by women (about 40%)
- a combination of factors or unknown reasons (about 20%).
If you need support with your reproductive health, contact:
- your general practitioner
- a fertility specialist
- a family planning organisation in your state or territory
- 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732), which provides free, confidential telephone and online counselling and information about sexual assault and family and domestic violence.
Read more about what we’re doing about reproductive health.