Reproductive Health

The Life Cycle Approach

Reproductive health is a lifetime concern for both women and men, from infancy to old age. UNFPA supports programming tailored to the different challenges they face at different times in life.

In many cultures, the discrimination against girls and women that begins in infancy can determine the trajectory of their lives. The important issues of education and appropriate health care arise in childhood and adolescence. These continue to be issues in the reproductive years, along with family planning, sexually transmitted diseases and reproductive tract infections, adequate nutrition and care in pregnancy, and the social status of women and concerns about cervical and breast cancer.

Male attitudes towards gender and sexual relations arise in boyhood, when they are often set for life. Men need early socialization in concepts of sexual responsibility and ongoing education and support in order to experience full partnership in satisfying sexual relationships and family life.

Critical messages for different life stages

In its advocacy and programming, UNFPA focuses on key messages that can empower both women and men at different stages of their lives.

Girls and boys

Adolescents

Adulthood

The older years

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