Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) Information
What is SRH?
Sexual and reproductive health is a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being in relation to all aspects of sexuality and reproduction.1 SRH encompasses issues that span the lives of both men and women, including but not limited to reproductive health and menopause.
Why is SRH important?
The United Nations International Conference on Population and Development established an agreement in 1994 to make reproductive healthcare universally accessible by no later than 2015. However, access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services remains a global issue, especially in the developing world. Unintended pregnancy is a common outcome for more than 200 million women worldwide each year who do not have access to modern contraception.1
Several decades of research have shown and continue to show the profound benefits of investment in sexual and reproductive health. Such efforts have resulted in decreased complications secondary to unsafe childbirths and abortions, unintended pregnancies, STIs, and sexual violence.2 When women can make informed choices about their bodies, they can make better choices for their families, their education, their livelihoods, and their happiness.
The Future of SRH
Investing in sexual and reproductive health and rights is an investment in human rights. The Government of Canada has proposed a 2021 budget of $45 million to fund community-based organizations to increase access to sexual and reproductive health care information and services for vulnerable communities. The budget also includes an additional $7.6 million to develop and implement a national survey to collect data on a wide range of SRH indicators including but not limited to race, household income, and sexual orientation.3
Healthcare providers play a significant role in empowering patients to make informed health decisions that uphold their sexual and reproductive health rights. According to the WHO4, a trained and competent workforce is necessary to implement policies and best practices in all healthcare settings. However, studies examining SRH providers’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors have documented significant deficiencies, implying the need for improvements in SRH providers’ training.5 The purpose of this website is to supply healthcare providers with SRH resources in the areas of reproductive health and menopause.
- Starrs, A. M., Ezeh, A. C., Barker, G., Basu, A., Bertrand, J. T., Blum, R., ... & Ashford, L. S. (2018). Accelerate progress—sexual and reproductive health and rights for all: report of the Guttmacher–Lancet Commission. The Lancet, 391(10140), 2642-2692.
- Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe. (2016). Accessed from (http://www.euro.who.int/en/healthtopics/Life-stages/sexual-and-reproductive-health).
- Government of Canada. (2021). Budget 2021: Supporting Women. Accessed from (https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2021/04/budget-2021-supporting-women.html).
- World Health Organization. (2011). Sexual and reproductive health core competencies in primary care: attitudes, knowledge, ethics, human rights, leadership, management, teamwork, community work, education, counselling, clinical settings, service, provision. World Health Organization.
- Coles, M. S., Makino, K. K., & Phelps, R. (2012). Knowledge of medication abortion among adolescent medicine providers. Journal of adolescent health, 50(4), 383-388.