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What is Reproductive Health?

February 5, 2013

Definition of Reproductive Health

“Reproductive health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes. Reproductive health therefore implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life and that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when, and how often to do so. Implicit in this last condition are the rights of men and women to be informed and have access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of family planning of their choice. It also includes the right of access to other methods of their choice for regulation of fertility, which are not against the law, and the right of access to appropriate health-care services, including emergency obstetric and post-abortion care services, that will enable women to go safely through pregnancy and childbirth and provide couples with the best chance of having a healthy infant. Also included is sexual health, the purpose of which is the enhancement of life and personal relations, and not merely counseling and care related to reproduction and sexually transmitted diseases.”

Cairo ICPD of 1994 and UN General Assembly Resolution 49/128

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