Reaching the Age of Adolescence

Reproductive Health

What do you mean by being healthy? Not having fever or cold? No! Health is a much wider concept. It is basically being free from all diseases and infections, both physically and mentally. Reproductive health is an energetic condition, which results from a body’s constant modification and the ability to adapt in response to stress and changes in the environment.

Being healthy is necessary for an individual at any age. This becomes especially important during adolescence. For this, a person needs to be not only disease-free. In fact, he/she should be physically as well as mentally healthy and fit. A hygienic life opens the door to a healthy body and mind. In this chapter, we will discuss the reproductive health and why it is necessary to be hygienic during adolescence.

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Reproductive Health and Adolescence

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), reproductive health is the total well-being in all aspects of reproduction i.e., in behavioral, emotional, physical, and social.

It is very important to maintain a good reproductive health for a healthy society and population. Adolescence is that stage when a person experiences growth and sexual maturity. Thus, it is essential to practice good hygienic habits starting from this stage itself. In order to ensure proper health, one has to maintain hygiene at a personal level (personal hygiene). They also have to take care of the hygiene at the community level (social hygiene).

Reproductive Health

There are some necessary precautions that you need to take when you are in your adolescent period. Below are the different ways to maintain reproductive health during adolescence:

Balanced Diet

A balanced diet is important for people of all age groups. Adolescents must have a well-balanced diet. This is because our growth depends on the dietary intake. A well-balanced diet consists of all types of nutrients like proteins, fats, carbohydrates vitamins, and minerals in an adequate amount.

Fruits, rice, roti, green vegetables, meat, milk, eggs, etc. are certain foods that have high nutritional values. However, nowadays, fast food, bakery products, fried items and other junk foods are gaining enormous popularity among adolescents. The daily consumption of fast food has invited many diseases including obesity, vitamin deficiency diseases, and also affecting the reproductive health both physically and emotionally.

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Personal Hygiene

Personal level hygiene mainly indicates cleanliness, adequate rest and sleep, physical exercise etc. As we already know, adolescence is the onset of puberty, therefore, one must be ready to embrace the various pubertal changes in the body. Sweat glands are more active during this stage. This could cause more sweating. In addition to this, the hair growth in public regions and armpit make it even worse.

Hence, you must maintain cleanliness by proper hand washing regular bathing, washing, and ironing of clothes. Girls have to keep themselves clean particularly during menstruation. Regular walk, outdoor games, and workouts are important for adolescents. These help them remain physically fit and healthy.

Adolescent Pregnancy

As per the Marriage Act, the permitted age for marriage for the girl is 18 years and for the boy is 21. Early marriage before 18 years is not allowed as the girl is too young and immature. She is not prepared mentally or physically for motherhood. This could result in mental agony and other health problems both for the mother and the child.

Solved Example

Question: Why should you say no to drugs?

Answer: As we know, during puberty the hormonal fluctuations levels are usually very high. This impacts our intellectual and emotional maturity a big way. This could lead to poor decision making at times.

During this period, adolescents are very susceptible to bad habits like drinking, smoking, taking drugs, etc. Once someone is addicted to these habits, it becomes very difficult for them to recover and come out of it easily. Not only this, but these drugs also affect reproductive health. They are responsible for causing delayed puberty and both physical and social consequences.

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