Is Reproductive Health Services More Than Just Wanting or Not Wanting Kids?

When people think of reproductive health services, they think of babies—either having them or not having them. This is a big part of reproductive healthcare, but ensuring the reproductive health of women isn't just about babies. Making sure women have access to the healthcare they need has a number of wider societal, economic and health benefits as well.


Reproductive health services include a wide variety of services, including fertility issues as well as non-fertility issues. This can include the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in the reproductive organs, fertility problems, sexually transmitted diseases and urinary tract infections.

These services can also include providing abortions where this is legal and providing birth control but aren't limited to just family planning services. Although women tend to be most affected by reproductive health issues, men can be affected as well and reproductive health services also deal with potential problems that men may face.

Health Benefits

The most well-known benefits of providing reproductive health services are the health benefits. Fewer women and children will die due to not getting the health care they need if women can take part in the recommended prenatal care visits and deliver their babies under the care of healthcare professionals trained to provide these services. Regular reproductive healthcare visits will also make it more likely that women will be diagnosed and treated for any other health problem they may have, including reproductive cancers.

Regular health care visits may help to decrease the risk of health problems such as HIV/AIDs and other sexually transmitted diseases as well as other diseases that aren't related to reproductive health, such as high blood pressure or heart disease. 

Economic Benefits

When women can choose when and if they have children, there are real economic benefits. For example, women will be more likely to only have the number of children they can actually afford to care for, making it so fewer families will be impoverished.

It also makes it so women can put off having children until they have at least a basic education, making it so they will be more likely to be able to care for themselves and their children. This is one of the first steps in reducing hunger and extreme poverty. Women who have control over their reproductive health have more control over their lives in other areas as well, such as their ability to work outside the home and to increase their educational level.