Reproductive Health Psychology

Reproductive Health Psychology

Reproductive Health Psychology

Reproductive Health Psychology

Synopsis

This volume provides a comprehensive, up-to-date theoretical and empirical background to the psychology of reproductive health.
  • Provides a life span perspective of the psychology of reproductive health and its disorders, from menarche to menopause and reproductive health in older age
  • Focuses on issues of the individual's reproductive health experience, including reproduction, pregnancy, maternity, and birth, as well as conditions such as PMDD, dysmenorrhea, and events including pregnancy failure, and abortion
  • Acknowledges the wider social context with discussions of poverty, inequality, educational and economic status, age, and urban versus rural access
  • Addresses life style related factors, human rights to choice, information and access, fertility control and reproductive health regulation and health care services
  • Illustrates topics with empirical data supported with tables and figures

Excerpt

Health is described as a state of physical, mental and social wellbeing, and not just the absence of disease or infirmity. Specifically, the application of this definition to reproductive health addresses the reproductive processes, reproductive systems and reproductive functions at all stages of the life span. Included here are lifestyle-related factors, human rights to choice, information and access to acceptable methods of sexual health and freedom, fertility control and reproductive health regulation and health-care services designed to assist all people with safe and effective health care for pregnancy, delivery and a healthy future for their infants.

A focus on sexual and reproductive health is not a privilege, it is a necessity. In 2000 the World Health Organization (WHO, 2004) reported estimates of maternal mortality in the region of over half a million each year as a result of pregnancy and delivery complications. The WHO has noted that health indicators are hugely difficult to quantify and that measures of access to reproductive health may provide more reliable information worldwide on maternal mortality. Thus, a shift away from health towards health-care access is indicated. The latter is easier split into basic and comprehensive essential obstetric care. Any focus on health-care access will include a focus on poverty, inequality, educational, economic status, age and urban versus rural access. These are important considerations, often forgotten, in interpreting national averages. Similarly, the relationship between mental health and reproductive health is substantial and relates to morbidity and mortality (Lok and Neugebauer, 2007), and psychological factors too contribute to a population’s reproductive health.

This book aims to provide psychologists, such as social, applied, developmental and health psychologists, with a comprehensive handbook covering numerous specialist areas within reproductive health and their disorders from foetal development through childhood, adolescence into adulthood and older age. It will also serve medical professionals, including psychiatrists, obstetricians and gynaecologists, nurses, midwives, health visitors and other allied health-care professionals, with a sound theoretical and empirical background from a multidisciplinary perspective to the major topics relating to the psychology of reproductive health. Psychological factors in maternal and infant health, the health of the foetus, gender development and reproductive growth and development, (in)fertility, pregnancy, miscarriages and abortions, the psychology of screening in pregnancy, diagnosis, labour and delivery, the postnatal period and parenting are covered in detail. The main reproductive lifespan events of menarche, the menstrual cycle and some prominent conditions associated with the menstrual cycle such as premenstrual syndromes and dysmenorrhoea, the menopause and sexual and reproductive events in older age are also addressed.

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