Are you taking proper care of your reproductive health, the way you take care of your skin and physical appearance? Good reproductive health has a positive impact on our mental and social well-being.
Don’t we all just work hard to look physically fit, but have you ever thought about how to maintain good reproductive health?
Now you must be thinking about what exactly reproductive health is and what habits you should adopt for good reproductive health.
Don’t worry though this blog we are telling you everything about reproductive health and a few healthy habits to include in your daily schedule along with your skincare!
Let’s get started!
A Glance at the Reproductive System
Now however effective it may sound to just look within your pants, you’ll have to read through this area because most of the ‘system’ exists within our bodies.
One look in our 10th biology textbooks may remind you that the female reproductive system consists of (majorly) - Vagina, Clitoris Ovary, Fallopian tubes, and Uterus! (Do allow yourself to imagine a happy science teacher if you remembered all this!)
Ovary is the storehouse of eggs and generates hormones. The uterus is where the hustle and bustle take place, as this pear-shaped organ carries and nourishes the fertilized egg, and if it doesn’t get one, it's a bloodbath, literally!
The fallopian tube is through which our eggs travel from the ovary, anticipating if they’ll get fertilized or not, into the uterus. The vagina is the flower everyone talks about! The inlet for the penis to enter and the outlet for the baby.
Clitoris, a small protrusion, is considered the female counterpart of penis, and is not so small a protrusion of pleasure to many females!
What is reproductive health?
Reproductive health means being socially, mentally, and physically fit in the context of the reproductive system and its functions.
The reproductive system constitutes hormone-producing glands and organs. A good reproductive system means the capability to reproduce, no problems in conceiving, and to maintain one’s sexual health.
In females, the reproductive system is one of the most sensitive parts and females need to take care of it properly. Because if it is neglected then they can create problems in the future.
Here are a few habits that will help you to maintain good reproductive health.
Healthy habits for the reproductive system
1. Healthy lifestyle- Approximately 10% to 15% of couples face the issues of infertility and difficulty in conceiving. There are many reasons behind this issue, but a poor lifestyle is one of the major reasons for infertility.
Numerous lifestyle factors such as stress, age, weight, physical exercise, and nutrition have a major influence on reproductive health and infertility.
A healthy lifestyle includes sufficient sleep, a proper diet, a healthy body weight, and a positive environment.
You should always have positive and happy surroundings because a stressful environment may affect your immune system and it can cause hormonal changes that have a negative effect on the menstrual cycle. And if the menstrual cycle is not regular then it can cause some serious diseases which directly affect the reproductive system.
2. Diet and Nutrition- What you eat and how much proportion you eat matters a lot and it has a great influence on reproductive health. In fact, the right food choices can reduce the chances of infertility.
You should start your day by having a king-size breakfast that includes calorie-rich food as it helps to reduce the level of insulin and testosterone and also helps in maintaining hormonal balance.
You should add healthy fats to your diet as it boosts fertility. All the fruits and vegetables are a good source of nutrition and other antioxidants like green tea, berries, ginger, turmeric, dark chocolate, etc all are very beneficial. And both men and women should increase the intake of antioxidants.
Eat vitamins and minerals in a proper proportion as it is an essential component of a balanced diet.
And you should totally avoid caffeine consumption as it negatively impacts the menstrual cycle that in the future can cause infertility.
3. Exercise- One of the most effective ways to increase fertility is yoga and exercise along with a balanced diet. Exercise is good for the regulation of the menstrual cycle, good for the lungs, heart, and immune system.
Daily 30-35 minutes you should donate to exercise, but remember anything done in excess is harmful so don’t do too much exercise. Practice all the moderate exercises like walking, running, swimming, playing a sport, and muscle strengthening exercises.
However, doing vigorous exercises like heavy weight lifting or doing the exercise for more than an hour can cause infertility.
Regular exercise will help you to reduce the problem of obesity and help to attain a healthy body weight.
4. Stop smoking and drinking alcohol- Recently consumption of drugs, pills, alcohol, has increased but it has some serious effects on the reproductive system especially on the male reproductive system.
In males, sperm count, sperm motility, and reproductive hormones decrease causing infertility. Apart from infertility, they are also the root cause of some fatal and long-term medical conditions like cancer of the mouth and throat, liver cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, and digestive problems.
It also affects our mental health also and can cause problems like depression and anxiety.
Also read: Things you should avoid during periods
5. Increase consumption of calcium and magnesium- Calcium and magnesium both play a significant role in the male and female reproductive system respectively. Magnesium is one of the most important micronutrients for the human body and in addition magnesium is needed for normal cell and organ function.
Magnesium helps to maintain the balance of female hormones like progesterone and estrogen that boost fertility. Apart from this magnesium also helps to decrease inflammation which increases the chances of successful embryo transfer.
Similarly, calcium also plays a vital role in maintaining good reproductive health. Calcium helps in the regulation of spermatogenesis( production of mature sperm) and fertilization.
Foods like dark chocolate, nuts, avocados, whole grains, fish, bananas, and spinach are rich in magnesium.
Foods like yogurt, leafy green vegetables, soybeans, oranges, papaya, and lentils are rich in calcium.
To know more you can check out this article: Best period comfort foods
6. Say hello to the gynecologist regularly - We tend to get our eyes, teeth, blood, etc checked regularly, then why not the reproductive system? It can help catch any disease or infection at an early stage, saving you a lot of money and discomfort!
7. Get mindful of the intimate hygiene products used - DO NOT, we repeat do not use any products without consulting your gynecologist, because just like not every product is right for your skin, hardly products are good for your intimate hygiene either.
Many menstrual hygiene products like pads or tampons come with scents that may contain chemicals that affect your parts. Many condoms come in flavors that are not to be used for penetration.
Many companies shame you for your body odor to buy intimate scents which are bad news for your reproductive health!
Regularly cleaning your intimate parts with water is enough in most cases. Used trusted products, and rush to your gynecologist when in the slightest doubt!
8. Have orgasms - Isn’t reproductive organs amazing, how they tend to keep themselves healthy through our pleasure?
Take this as a cue girl, and indulge in regular orgasms. It not only releases hormones that relieve our stress, make us feel good and light, and help us to sleep, but also tones the entire reproductive system.
The increased sexual activity also has physiological effects that increase a woman’s chance of conceiving!
So you go girl, explore your true sexual potential and indulge in this pleasurable method of self-care.
9. Look at the panties, not just under - Don’t underestimate the power of the right underwear in keeping your reproductive health!
Right-size cotton underwear's are most suitable for their soft touch, and absorptive properties that take in moisture, helping to keep our intimate parts relatively dry and protected.
Avoid spandex or nylon or other synthetic material that traps the heat and mixture within and breeds bacteria.
10. Stay sane - There’s no keeping the mind and body health apart, so it is imperative to keep our mind happy and healthy. Chronic stress, if left unchecked, can spread its evils to our reproductive health as well.
Psychological problems may cause hormonal imbalances, and a woman under stress may feel early menopausal symptoms than normal.
It is actually underrated how a healthy mind can keep your reproductive system healthy too.
Read more: sanitary pad vs tampons. which is better?
Why reproductive health is important, You Ask?
Well, why not?
It is essential to take each and every part of your body, and the reproductive system is too sensitive and important to not take care of.
- HIV, Cervical cancers, Endometriosis, and other reproductive diseases can be identified and cured at an early stage if the person is conscious about their reproductive health, and its functions and pays frequent visits to the gynecologist.
- Being ignorant of reproductive health can lead to infertility or reduced fertility.
- Young girls may also face early or late puberty due to irregularities in reproductive hormones.
The don’ts of maintaining a healthy reproductive system
- First and foremost, avoid junk! Be it food, or people.
- Sleep on time, and get good 7-8 hours of rest
- Keep away from mental issues. Indulge in keeping yourself sane.
- Explore your sexuality, but don’t try things you are not ready to.
- Wear clean underwear. Don’t let anything dirty or unhygienic get into your panties. And it is not at all advisable to use toothbrushes and pencils and things of those sorts in your vagina. Clean sex toys are good to go if you are ready to use them.
- Be extra careful during periods. Don’t forget to change organic pads, organic tampons and remove menstrual cups regularly.
- Exercise, exercise, exercise. But not vigorously.
- Do not use scented intimate products. Don’t use any sort of pastes, or intake any medicine before consulting a doctor.
- Don’t forget to be body positive, including your intimate parts, and never shy to seek help!
- Don’t partake in drinking and smoking
Read more: Different menstrual products for period
We understand changing your daily lifestyle and changing your eating habits is not an easy task but each step towards healthier habits makes a difference if you are trying to conceive and you want to embrace motherhood.
Starting from small changes like daily exercising for 15-20 minutes, cutting down caffeine and sugar, slowly you will be habitual and apart from just being reproductively fit your body will be physically, socially and mentally in the right shape.
Consult your doctor often if you are trying to conceive and also take tests to avoid the chances of STDs ( sexually transmitted diseases).
Just doing physical exercise doesn’t make you fit. If you actually want to fit you need to take care of your reproductive system as well. Your body should be fit in all aspects. We hope through this blog you might understand the importance of reproductive health.