4 things to know about emerging sexual and reproductive health

A Consultant Obstetrician, Gynecologist and Fertility Specialist at Shape Health Care Medical Center, Dr. Promise E. Sefogah, has listed a few things Ghanaians can look at in their quest to stay healthy.

He gave the tips in an interview with Bernard Koku Avle as part of Citi FM/Citi TV’s Effective Living Series.

Below are five of the things he said:

Good sexual intimacy:  Good sexual intimacy within two to three times a week boost the immunity of women and their bodies are able to stand up to infections. Sexual intimacy has a huge load of health and wellness including psychological and emotional benefits.

Scientific research has it that good sex that leads to orgasm limits the risk of medical conditions, it also enhances mood. Sexual intercourse is a way of slashing stress and serves as a form of good physical exercise. Regular sexual intimacy strengthens the pelvic floor in women, which thus increases their estrogen and makes them look younger always.

Seek help for pains during sexual intimacy: The pains some women experience during sexual intercourse are of two main folds – either the woman will experience pain in the vagina -superficial, or she feels pains in the lower abdomen. The pains experienced in the vagina leads to infections which may come with vaginal itching, or some unusual vagina discharge and unpleasant smell or not. Lack of lubrication in some women’s private parts causes unpleasant pains during sex. Men should try to report to various health facilities when they experience pains in their manhood and not wait till it becomes unbearable.

Endometriosis: This is the second part of the pain experienced by women. This is the abnormal presence of cells that are supposed to be within the womb come outside.  They are programmed to be there, and get shed during the menstrual period. But for some reason, they develop outside the vagina. They are mostly found on top of the tube, onto the ovary, on the body of the uterus etc, instead of exclusively being inside the womb. And it causes pains because these cells are programmed to bleed every month. So wherever they are, they are going to bleed, and the blood irritates the tissues. This will also cause pains during sexual intercourse. Endometriosis has the possibility of forming ovarian cancer. Women with these kinds of experiences should visit health facilities.

Adolescent/Menopause: The quantity and quality of the eggs released in women have the tendency to reduce when women wait for longer periods of their lives before giving birth. The girl-child is pre-set with a number of eggs in the ovaries. A little baby girl comes with about half a million eggs. They are all resting until she attains puberty. When she starts ovulating, every month, ten to twenty of these eggs begin to develop. One of the eggs begins to dominate and get released. With the intention that the body is ready to get pregnant and carry a baby. So the remaining goes to waste. The next month, another ten to twenty eggs begin that journey. So that happens throughout the reproductive life of a woman. If young women are attaining puberty way younger around 9 years, then a lot more eggs will be finished. Menopause changes everything, so women should try to give birth at an early stage. Unfortunately, this is the period some women are defying childbirth. Pregnancy gets a lot more stormy with complications from diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes. The risk of having the baby pre-term is higher, and the babies not forming well all gets higher. People should desist from stressing themselves.

Dysmenorrhea/Irregular menses:  This refers to pains associated with menstruation. Dysmenorrhea can affect nearly 80% of women. Lots of women have psyched themselves that it’s normal to feel the pains during menses. That’s a good side so that you don’t have them coming to the hospital every month to seek treatment. But the bad side is that some of the dysmenorrhea is due to very significant medical causes which need to be addressed earlier rather than later. For example, endometriosis can cause intense dysmenorrhea. The pains start before the period begins to flow out. Some of the bleeding accumulates around the ovary and forms ovarian cysts. The new blood forms balloons with old blood. These diseases are treatable.