The pandemic altered the face of the earth completely. This is a completely unprecedented time in our lives. This kind of health crisis had not been seen in years, and it has completely taken most of the world off guard. That is the reality of it. However, even with the raging pandemic in our midst, other health care services must not be forgotten and ignored.
No matter what time of crisis, women’s health is essential and important. When it comes to their reproductive health, it is just as important as their other health concerns. A lot may not be comfortable talking about women’s reproductive health, but not shedding light on this topic will only make people more hesitant to ask what’s important for them. It doesn’t matter whether it is a time of pandemic or not. This is an important subject that women must uphold.
Contraception in the Time of Pandemic
A recent study regarding women’s attitude toward contraception showed that American women had changed their ways of contraception amidst the pandemic. For example, a lot opted to change their method to more effective and consistent contraception. One-third of the women asked in the survey said they are even more careful in experiencing intimacy with their partners. They use contraception more often compared to the time before the pandemic.
This attitude is not surprising in the middle of the pandemic. A lot of women may forego or delay conceiving in the time of such uncertainty.
Availability of Reproductive Health
However, not every woman is lucky to have access to all sorts of reproductive health services. In the United States and other progressive western countries, women’s reproductive health is not a hush-hush topic. Women have the liberty to choose for themselves what kind of reproductive health method they prefer.
Pills and other methods are readily available, and in some countries, abortion is legal. Of course, abortion could open many debates regarding ethics, but in terms of women’s reproductive health, abortion is just one of the many options for women. And safe abortion is of utmost importance. According to Human Rights Watch, there at least 2 million girls under 15 who give birth, and more often than not, they were victims of violence.
How the Pandemic Affected Women’s Reproductive Health
COVID-19 pandemic affects a lot of women, most especially young girls. To prevent the spread of the virus, many women were required to stay at home and refrain from interacting with people not from their household. However, this health protocol has made a lot of girls vulnerable to abuse in their homes. Whereas it is apparent for states and governments all over the world to work out and contain the virus, World Health Organization also stressed the importance of other health services, including reproductive health.
One of the effects of the lockdowns due to the pandemic is the inaccessibility of many health services, especially for underprivileged women. Most hospitals nowadays are filled with COVID-19 patients. These hospitals cannot entertain other health concerns because of the sheer number of people infected by the virus. This is the case for most countries, especially those that could not contain the virus from the onset.
Ensuring Access to Women’s Reproductive Health
Human Rights Watch stressed the importance of the role of governments in ensuring that the needs of women are met in these trying times. For example, pregnant women today are at the highest risk of possible infection. Both the mother and the unborn child are at risk of COVID-19. Even in that vulnerability, they must still be taken care of. They should be given the right natal care both before and after the delivery of the baby. And above all else, they should be given the right to choose the kind of delivery and plan they want for themselves and their babies.
However, because of the pandemic, a lot of health facilities for women have stopped operations. According to the International Planned Parenthood Federation, at least a thousand family planning facilities have closed down due to the pandemic. And most of the countries affected were developing countries.
Denying women the choice to choose family planning or reproductive health service they want to avail is not good for them. Even amidst the pandemic, reproductive health should not be compromised. On top of the response to curb the COVID-19 virus is the continued support for universal and accessible contraception. Policymakers need to ensure that reproductive health is upheld and given importance. These services are essential to a lot of women and girls. It cannot be stressed enough how these can spell survivability and life or death for most women.
Meta title: The Effect of the Pandemic in Women’s Reproductive Health
meta desc: The pandemic has caused grave crises in health worldwide. However, other health issues must be addressed. Moreso, it should cover health plans. Learn more.