Developing Countries and Reproductive Health: We Need to Talk About Periods

In the western world, we take many things for granted, including reproductive health for women. Doctors, gynecologists, and products such as the pill, tampons, and sanitary towels are all widely available and accessible to all women in order to help them to take care of their reproductive health and stay comfortable no matter what time of the month it is. Pregnancies can be avoided or terminated with minimal discomfort or danger, allowing women to take charge of their own reproduction and do what is best for them on a personal level. However, in some developing countries, all of this is quite simply, unheard of.

Reproductive Health in Developing Countries

Women in the western world don’t even need to have painful periods, with a range of treatments available from taking contraception, specially designed painkillers and in the worst case scenario, minimally invasive, quick surgical procedures for women suffering from endometriosis or other reproductive health conditions. See David Ghozland, M.D for more information. However, in developing countries, women don’t have this luxury. Not only do they have no access to good healthcare when it comes to reproductive health conditions, having your period in countries such as these can often be a horrible time for women, with many not having access to basic products such as tampons or sanitary towels.

Giving Birth and Babies

There is a reason why infant mortality is so high in most developing countries across the world. For women giving birth in these countries, there is often a whole range of conditions working against her, from having to give birth lying on dirty floors or mats to a lack of clean water and other sanitary products which are needed during the delivery process. Because of this, many women also die during childbirth in developing countries due to infections and other problems that could have been avoided with the use of the right products and sanitation.

What You Can Do

In today’s day and age, there is no reason why a baby should have to be born on a dirty mat, or a young girl be unable to go out when she has her period because she doesn’t have a tampon or sanitary towel to use. In 2016, there really is no need for ladies to be making do with dirty piece of cloth or rags to try and stay clean during their period. Unfortunately, this is happening throughout the world. But, there are many things which you can do to help. A number of female product companies will donate a certain amount of money for each pack of tampons or sanitary pads bought to help women in developing countries. Or, you could help by getting involved with charities that specifically help women in developing countries to raise money for better access to sanitary products and better reproductive health care.

Do you think that it is ridiculous for any woman to be denied proper sanitary products when needed in this day and age? Join the discussion in the comments below.

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