Latin women need a better understanding of the importance of reproductive health
Although Women’s History Month is over, there is no doubt that they have made great strides in making a difference when it comes to their career or workplace.
College enrollment rates for Hispanic and Latina women ages 18-24 increased by 15% from 2000 to 2018, while the number of Hispanic and Latina women in the U.S. labor force is also expected to increase by 7, 5% to 9.2% from 2018 to 2028. .
And while women carve out a place for themselves in these respective genders, the fact remains that they should always be fully aware of their health, especially their reproductive health.
Dr. Erica Montes, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist and founder of The Modern Mujer Health Blog, recently spoke with this writer in a exclusive interview and explained why it is important for women to be open and discuss reproductive health, especially as it relates to family planning and pregnancy.
“Unplanned pregnancy rates are still high. We find that over the past 40 years, women in general, but especially Latinas, have made significant gains in their education and work earnings. So, that being said, we definitely want to have more control over the ability to plan for their future, to be able to plan for their family. Right now it’s very common for women to want to talk about contraception and seek that conversation with their doctor or health care provider,” Montes said.
Montes also shed light on how and why it’s important for women to communicate openly with a doctor or provider they feel comfortable with and trust.
“I think how women know, to start that conversation is important to make sure you’re seeing a provider or a doctor you trust or someone you feel comfortable with who you can have an open and honest dialogue. And know that all questions are welcome. There’s no question we wouldn’t want to answer that might help you make a decision based on which options are best for you,” she joked.
In the interview, Montes also explained the importance of culture and how COVID has led to perhaps more unexpected pregnancies.
“Especially with Latinas, you grow up in a society or culture where talking about sex and birth control, these women haven’t heard of those things, so when they think of themselves sometimes you can think of when they were young and their parents say don’t talk about sex, don’t talk about contraception – that’s bad. It’s misconceptions in their heads, their minds. I think they take it into account , especially when they get older. Really, what we really want to do is bring that up,” Montes explained.
And while COVID-19 is used as an excuse by most not to see their doctor, Montes illustrated how the pandemic has brought about new technologies through the use of telemedicine. This new pathway allowed patients to use a different channel to respond to reproductive health issues.
“I think with COVID too there have been more unplanned pregnancies due to women not going to their doctors and not having the means or ability to make appointments. “, said Montes.
“COVID has actually changed medicine, we’re doing more telemedicine appointments, even a birth control counseling appointment can be done telemedicine. So there’s really no reason not to talk to your doctor or your provider,” she added.