( By Dr. Vithal Prabhu )

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Sexual And Reproductive Health

  1. Sexual health is a combination of physical, emotional, intellectual and social aspects of sexuality. This should be in ways that should eurich personality, communication and love.

  2. A person should have capacity to enjoy as well as control sexual behaviour and reproduction according to the personal and social ethics.

  3. He should not have fear, shame, guilt, false beliefs and any other psychological factors impairing sexual relationship.

  4. He should be free from diseases and deficiencies that will interfere with reproduction.

  5. It should not cause disease trauma, torture or do harm to the partner.

  6. Sexual relationship before marriage and outside the marriage, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, sex with sex workers should be discoraged. It should not be coercive or exploitative.

  7. Teenagers should not engage in sex.


    1. Teenagers are not mature for sex.
    2. They need to be more responsible.
    3. The relationship is not sure at this age.
    4. Fear of unwanted pregnancy
    5. Fear of STD/HIV infection.
    6. Society, religion and parents do not want them to have sex.
    7. There are ways of expressing affection other than sex, e.g., giving a rose, a letter, a touch, a hng, or a kiss.
    8. At an individual level sex is not absolutely essential for one's survival.
    9. The safer and acceptable means for the release of sexual tension is through noctural emission and masturbation.

  8. Like all other parts the genitals should be kept clean.

  9. Teenage pregnancy is harmful to the mother as well as to the child.

  10. A boy should get married before the age of 21 years. A girl should not get married before the age of 18 years. Postponement of marriage for further two years or more will be advantageous in many respects.

  11. Marriage with a blood relative should be discouraged since may lead to genetic abnormality in the child.

  12. A woman has a right to terminate an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy.

  13. Termination of pregnancy (abortion) before 10 weeks is much safer than the termination done later. In should only be done at an institution recognized by the Government. Termination of pregnancy after 20 weeks crime. If such woman does not want a baby, she can place it for adoption when born.

  14. Abortions should not be used as a method of contraception, since it is not without risk.

  15. When pregnant the woman should periodically consult the doctor at intervals for medical check up and inform the doctor if she has pain in abdomen, giddiness, bleeding from vagina, breathlessness jaundice, swelling of feet or face, headache, blurring of vision or fits.

  16. Pregnant woman should

    1. Take nourishing diet containing plenty of milk, green vegetables, pulses, cereals, jaggery, roots, fruits, eggs, fish and mutton (more of milk if vegetarian).

    2. Keep her body, breasts and genitals chean.

    3. Take two injections of Tetanus toxoid at an interval of one month.

    4. Avoid use of tabacco, alcohol, drugs and exposure to X-Rays.

    5. Take medicines only when advised by the doctors.

    6. Inform the doctor if any genetic abnormality in the fam ily, e.g., mental retardation Thallassaemia, Haemophilia.

    7. Inform the doctor if she suffers from high blood pressure, tuberculosis or any other disease.

  17. For postponement of pregnancy or for keeping a distance of minimum three years between two children the man should use condom (Nirodh) or the woman should use pills (Mala D). A breast feeding mother should use copper T (Tambi) to delay the next pregnancy.

  18. STD/HIV infection in parents can result in death of their baby; therefore they should be checked for the same before conception (preferably before getting married).

  19. Girls should seek medical help promptly if they get foul smelling, itchy discharge or irregular bleeding from vagina; or a swelling in the breast.

  20. Men should seek medical help promptly if they get swelling in the testis, ulcer on the penis, pus discharging from urinary passage, or swelling in the groin.
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