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Understanding your reproductive and sexual health

Understanding Your Reproductive and Sexual Health

What is Reproductive and Sexual Health?

At its core, sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is about having a safe and healthy sex life, the capability to reproduce, and the freedom to decide if, when, and how often to do so. It’s a fundamental part of our health and wellbeing that goes beyond the absence of diseases or disorders.

Why Is It Important?

Good sexual and reproductive health is important because it impacts not just our physical wellbeing, but our emotional, psychosocial, and mental health as well. It allows individuals to make informed decisions, leading to a safer, healthier, and often more fulfilled existence. 

Key Components of SRH

Understanding Your Body

Understanding your body is the first step towards taking control of your sexual and reproductive health. By knowing how your reproductive system works, you can make informed decisions that benefit your health and wellbeing.

•Menstrual Cycle: Understanding the phases of your menstrual cycle is important. It helps in recognising patterns and identifying any irregularities that might require medical attention.
•Fertility Awareness: Knowing when you’re most fertile can be useful whether you’re trying to conceive or avoid pregnancy. Methods such as tracking basal body temperature and cervical mucus can give insights into your fertility window.
•Anatomy: Familiarising yourself with your reproductive anatomy empowers you to recognise normal changes and identify potential health issues early on.
Safer Sex Practices
Safer sex practices are essential for preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies. Safer sex practices include barrier protection, monogamous relationships, and tested partners. 


Consent is a critical component of healthy sexual relationships. It means agreeing to engage in a specific sexual activity, freely and willingly. Consent must be informed, which means everyone involved understands what they’re agreeing to. It’s important to communicate clearly and always respect each other’s decisions.

Reproductive Rights

Reproductive rights are about making decision about your body and your life. This includes deciding if and when to have children, having access to contraception to prevent or plan a pregnancy, and being able to access quality health care services. Everyone deserves to have their reproductive rights respected.

Access to Information and Services

Knowing where to find reliable information and services is key to maintaining good sexual and reproductive health. Places like community health centres, sexual health clinics, family doctors, and some schools and colleges offer confidential advice and support.

Preventing STIs

One of the main aspects of SRH is practicing safer sex. This means using barriers like condoms during sex to prevent STIs and unplanned pregnancies and avoiding risky behaviours. It’s about protecting yourself and your partner from health issues that can affect you both now and in the future. Remember, it’s okay to ask questions and seek advice from trusted professionals.

Regular Testing: Regular STI screenings are important if you have multiple partners or are starting a new relationship. Early detection makes treatment easier and prevents the spread of infections.
Communication: Discussing sexual health and STI status with your partner is essential. Open communication builds trust and ensures both parties are aware of any risks.
Avoiding Risky Behaviours: Avoiding high-risk behaviours such as unprotected sex, sharing needles, or having multiple sexual partners can significantly reduce your risk of contracting STIs. 

How to Access SRH Services

Knowing where to find reliable information and services is key to maintaining good sexual and reproductive health. Here’s how you can access these vital resources:

•Community Health Centres and Clinics: Many local public health centres and clinics provide confidential advice, screenings, and treatments. These services are often low-cost or free and can be a great starting point for those seeking help.
•Educational Institutions: Some schools and colleges offer sexual health services, including counselling and STI testing. Check with your institution to see what’s available.
•Your Family Doctor: Family doctors offer comprehensive care and can integrate sexual and reproductive health and STI testing into your overall health care.
•The Atwell Centre: Specializing in sexual and reproductive health services, the Atwell Centre offers a non-judgemental, caring space where you can receive professional support. They provide various services, including pregnancy tests, STI screenings, and options counselling, ensuring you can make informed decisions about your health.

Common Myths about SRH

There are many myths and misconceptions about sexual and reproductive health that can cause confusion. Here are a few common ones:

•Myth: You can always tell if someone has an STI.
•Fact: Many STIs have no symptoms, so you can’t tell if someone has an infection just by looking at them.
•Myth: The contraceptive pill protects against STIs.
•Fact: The pill can prevent pregnancy but doesn’t protect against STIs. Using condoms is the best way to prevent STI transmission.

Conclusion: Taking Control of Your Health

Sexual and reproductive health might seem like a big and sometimes scary topic, but it’s an important part of your overall wellbeing. By understanding your body, knowing your reproductive rights, and practicing safer sex, you can make the best decisions for yourself and your future.


Here are some steps you can take:
•Educate Yourself: The more you know about your body and sexual health, the better prepared you’ll be to make informed decisions.
•Seek Professional Advice: Don’t hesitate to consult healthcare professionals for guidance and support. They are trained to provide non-judgemental, confidential advice.

•Practice Safer Sex: Using protection, getting regular screenings, and avoiding high risk behaviours are important for maintaining your sexual health. Although abstinence is the only 100% effective prevention of STIs and unintended pregnancies, a protected  monogamous relationship with a tested partner greatly reduces risk.

By filling yourself with knowledge and understanding, you’re taking a significant step towards taking care of your health and your future.
Understanding your sexual and reproductive health is not just about protecting yourself from diseases; it’s about embracing your overall wellbeing and making informed decisions that enhance your quality of life. Take charge of your health today.

The information provided on the Atwell Centre blog is intended solely for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We strongly recommend that you consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider for the most up-to-date information and personal medical advice.


If you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, need STI testing, or would like post-abortion support, please book an appointment at Atwell Centre. Your health and well-being are our top priorities.


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