Linking reproductive and mental health

Ghana News

January 22, 2010

Reproduction after man’s own kind is an acknowledged means of ensuring continuity of life. Reproductive health is, therefore, crucial to our continual existence on earth.

Unfortunately, the events of reproduction put so many burdens on us, especially females. We, as humans, need to harness all the resources available to us in order to meet these challenges, else we fall mentally ill when we succumb adversely to these reproductive events.

Reproductive events that can progress to overt mental disorders include menarche, the first menstrual period, the menstrual cycle itself, for example, pre-menstrual syndrome, and coitarche, the first time sexual intercourse takes place.

It is not unusual to hear young ladies admit that their first sexual contact was without their consent. Depending on when and how it happened, women may develop hatred for sex and even for men. This may cause some women to avoid marriage, or when they do marry, not enjoy sex in marriage.

Other reproductive events in female adults likely to affect their mental health are infertility and the stress of its management, pregnancy and its related diseases, labour with its accompanying risk of death and care of the new-born, especially in the first few weeks.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.