What is Sexual & Reproductive Health?
Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and rights is an important part of your health and overall wellbeing. It is a fundamental human right for all people to decide if, when and with whom to have sex, and if, when and with whom to have children ― free from discrimination, coercion and violence.
What is included in SRH?
Sexual and reproductive health is not just about sex ― it’s a lot of other things too such as:
- Changes you go through in puberty
- How to take care of yourself
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Family planning
- Fertility and pregnancy
- Culture surrounding gender and sex
Why is it important to have SRH?
It is important to learn about sexual and reproductive health so that you can understand your body and know how to safely navigate growing up, relationships, and sex. Everyone can benefit from education about sexual and reproductive health ― no matter what gender or sexuality you identify with.
There are many reasons to why SRH is important:
- Addressing myths and misinformation surrounding SRH
Myths and misinformation surrounding SRH may lead to dangerous practices and risky sexual behaviour. Lack of information surrounding puberty may lead to improper hygiene, while risky sexual behaviour may lead to unwanted pregnancies and spread of STD.
- Help teenagers navigate physical changes during puberty
Puberty can be a confusing and stressful time for children. Being able to know the changes that children will experience before it happens, would make them better prepared when facing puberty.
- Navigate relationships, other emotional and social changes
Part of growing up is also experiencing emotional and social changes. Changes may occur in the way we think, act and feel. Relationship dynamics such as families and friendships may also change as we grow up. Understanding these may make it easier for children and teenagers to navigate their feelings.
- Promoting safe sex and prevetion of STD
Preventing the spread of STD through promoting safe sex practices such as promoting the use of condoms, regular testing and other prevention techniques.
- Understanding consent and abuse
It is reported that 1 in 3 women globally experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. Men also may experience physical and sexual violence. Understanding what consent, abuse and learning about healthy relationships may help those in toxic relationships but also build a supportive society.
- Understanding pregnancy and preventing unwanted pregnancies
Is SRH necessary in Indonesia?
To put it simply, YES.
Everyone, including Indonesians, deserves high quality sexual and reproductive health at every stage of our lives.
A study in Indonesia showed that 5% of students (12-19 years old) have had sexual intercourse (WHO, 2015). Of those, 83% had sexual intercourse prior to the age of 14. Only 34% reported using a condom during their last sexual intercourse, which is considered risky sexual behavior.Indonesia also has one of the highest rates of unwanted pregnancies in Southeast Asia (WHO, 2017).
Sexual and reproductive health education encourages people to protect themselves and their partner, as well as preventing unwanted pregnancies.
To read more about SRH in Indonesia and the world, click here.