Our Model for Reproductive Healthcare Services

Reproductive health matters at all stages of our lives. It begins before adolescence with sexual health education and continues beyond the years of reproduction with post-reproductive services.

Reproductive health is important for all individuals, couples and families in Ireland, with most women and men needing support from reproductive services at some time in their lives.

Reproductive health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, not merely the absence of disease, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes. It combines people’s ability to have a satisfying and safe sex life, the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to bear children.

NWCI advocates for the provision of comprehensive reproductive and sexual health services that are designed around the lives of women and girls.

A model for reproductive healthcare includes

Relationship and sexual health education

Relationship and sexual health education

Consent programmes for young people and public information campaigns

Affordable and accessible contraception Access to contraception, including long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) and emergency contraception
Reproductive and sexual health services

Specialist treatment for reproductive diseases

Screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV

Comprehensive pregnancy care, including abortion when needed Pre-conceptual care, including fertility treatment Maternity care, ante and post-natal care Abortion and abortion after-care
 Reproductive cancer care  Vaccination, screening and treatment
 Menopause services  Support and advice around fertility and contraception during perimenopause

Like all health services, reproductive health services should be based on a number of key principles:

private

The confidentiality between the doctor and the patient must be protected. All decisions should be private, personal and confidential.

Comprehensive

Services should provide for all reproductive health needs of women and girls.

Adequately funded

Services should receive appropriate funding that ensures timely access.

Accessible

Care options should be publicly funded and available to all through the public health system.

High quality

Services must comply with best medical practice, standards and safeguards.

read next

Our model for reproductive health and the Eighth Amendment