Components of Reproductive Health Care

Box 19

From the ICPD Programme of Action:

7.2 . . . [R]eproductive health care is defined as the constellation of methods, techniques and services that contribute to reproductive health and well-being through preventing and solving reproductive health problems. It also includes sexual health, the purpose of which is the enhancement of life and personal relations, and not merely counselling and care related to reproduction and sexually transmitted diseases.

7.6. . . . Reproductive health care in the context of primary health care should, inter alia, include: family-planning counselling, information, education, communication and services; education and services for prenatal care, safe delivery, and post-natal care, especially breast-feeding, infant and women's health care; prevention and appropriate treatment of infertility; . . . prevention of abortion and the management of the consequences of abortion; treatment of reproductive tract infections; sexually transmitted diseases and other reproductive health conditions; and information, education and counselling, as appropriate, on human sexuality, reproductive health and responsible parenthood.

Referral for family-planning services and further diagnosis and treatment for complications of pregnancy, delivery and abortion, infertility, reproductive tract infections, breast cancer and cancers of the reproductive system, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS should always be available, as required. Active discouragement of harmful practices such as female genital mutilation should also be an integral component of primary health care including reproductive health care programmes.