Summary

Reproductive health refers to a total well-being in all aspects of reproduction, i.e., physical, emotional, behavioural and social. Our nation was the first nation in the world to initiate various action plans at national level towards attaining a reproductively healthy society. Counselling and creating awareness among people about reproductive organs, adolescence and associated changes, safe and hygienic sexual practices, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including AIDS, etc., is the primary step towards reproductive health. Providing medical facilities and care to the problems like menstrual irregularities, pregnancy related aspects, delivery, medical termination…

4.5 Infertility

A discussion on reproductive health is incomplete without a mention of infertility. A large number of couples all over the world including India are infertile, i.e., they are unable to produce children inspite of unprotected sexual co-habitation. The reasons for this could be many–physical, congenital, diseases, drugs, immunological or even psychological. In India, often the female is blamed for the couple being childless, but more often than not, the problem lies in the male partner. Specialised health care units (infertility clinics, etc.) could help in diagnosis and corrective treatment of…

4.4 Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Diseases or infections which are transmitted through sexual intercourse are collectively called sexually transmitted diseases (STD) or venereal diseases (VD) or reproductive tract infections (RTI). Gonorrhoea, syphilis, genital herpes, chlamydiasis, genital warts, trichomoniasis, hepatitis-B and of course, the most discussed infection in the recent years, HIV leading to AIDS are some of the common STDs. Among these, HIV infection is most dangerous and is discussed in detail in Chapter 8. Some of these infections like hepatitis–B and HIV can also be transmitted by sharing of injection needles, surgical instruments, etc.,…

4.3 Medical Termination of Pregnancy

Intentional or voluntary termination of pregnancy before full term is called medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) or induced abortion. Nearly 45 to 50 million MTPs are performed in a year all over the world which accounts to 1/5th of the total number of conceived pregnancies in a year. Obviously, MTP has a significant role in decreasing the population though it is not meant for that purpose. Whether to accept /legalise MTP or not is being debated upon in many countries due to emotional, ethical, religious and social issues involved in…

4.2 Population Explosion and Birth Control

In the last century an all-round development in various fields significantly improved the quality of life of the people. However, increased health facilities along with better living conditions had an explosive impact on the growth of population. The world population which was around 2 billion (2000 million) in 1900 rocketed to about 6 billions by 2000. A similar trend was observed in India too. Our population which was approximately 350 million at the time of our independence reached close to the billion mark by 2000 and crossed 1 billion in…

4.1 Reproductive Health – Problems and Strategies

India was amongst the first countries in the world to initiate action plans and programmes at a national level to attain total reproductive health as a social goal. These programmes called ‘family planning’ were initiated in 1951 and were periodically assessed over the past decades. Improved programmes covering wider reproduction-related areas are currently in operation under the popular name ‘Reproductive and Child Health Care (RCH) programmes’. Creating awareness among people about various reproduction related aspects and providing facilities and support for building up a reproductively healthy society are the major…

Chapter 4 – Reproductive Health

You have learnt about human reproductive system and its functions in Chapter 3. Now, let’s discuss a closely related topic – reproductive health. What do we understand by this term? The term simply refers to healthy reproductive organs with normal functions. However, it has a broader perspective and includes the emotional and social aspects of reproduction also. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), reproductive health means a total well-being in all aspects of reproduction, i.e., physical, emotional, behavioural and social. Therefore, a society with people having physically and functionally…

Summary

Humans are sexually reproducing and viviparous. The male reproductive system is composed of a pair of testes, the male sex accessory ducts and the accessory glands and external genitalia. Each testis has about 250 compartments called testicular lobules, and each lobule contains one to three highly coiled seminiferous tubules. Each seminiferous tubule is lined inside by spermatogonia and Sertoli cells. The spermatogonia undergo meiotic divisions leading to sperm formation, while Sertoli cells provide nutrition to the dividing germ cells. The Leydig cells outside the seminiferous tubules, synthesise and secrete testicular…

3.7 Parturition and Lactation

The average duration of human pregnancy is about 9 months which is called the gestation period. Vigorous contraction of the uterus at the end of pregnancy causes expulsion/delivery of the foetus. This process of delivery of the foetus (childbirth) is called parturition. Parturition is induced by a complex neuroendocrine mechanism. The signals for parturition originate from the fully developed fetus and the placenta which induce mild uterine contractions called foetal ejection reflex. This triggers release of oxytocin from the maternal pituitary. Oxytocin acts on the uterine muscle and causes stronger…

3.6 Pregnancy and Embryonic Development

After implantation, finger-like projections appear on the trophoblast called chorionic villi which are surrounded by the uterine tissue and maternal blood. The chorionic villi and uterine tissue become interdigitated with each other and jointly form a structural and functional unit between developing embryo (foetus) and maternal body called placenta. The placenta facilitate the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the embryo and also removal of carbon dioxide and excretory/waste materials produced by the embryo. The placenta is connected to the embryo through an umbilical cord which helps in the transport…