Women Of Flint: Their Reproductive Health Is In Danger

In addition, lead is able to pass through the placenta and into breast milk. Children born to lead-exposed parents are more likely to have birth defects, mental health challenges, behavioral disorders, or even die during the first year of life.

Sexual and reproductive health is an important part of a woman’s overall health. Vulvovaginal health issues can also cause stress or relationship problems and impact a woman’s self-confidence. If you have any concerns regarding lead and your sexual and reproductive health, I encourage you to consult your physician.

Since several studies have implicated lead as contributing factor to sexual, reproductive and developmental effects, in order to reduce the effects on women’s sexual and reproductive health I definitely discourage women from taking a bath using Flint water given the implication that it can have on women’s bodies.

What’s the solution?

In the meantime, what can women do to protect their sexual and reproductive health? I would love to say that I have a surefire solution, but I do not. The use of bottled water is great, but it can become really costly and may not necessarily be an option for families, who are already strapped for cash or for elderly women who are on a fixed income.

Nevertheless, until there is a resolution to the water crisis, I am including the following tips as a way to reduce and minimize exposure to lead.

  • Instead of sitting in a bathtub full of polluted water, take a shower in an effort to minimize how much contact the water has with the vulvovaginal area.
  • If a shower option is not available, stand up in the bathtub instead of sitting down in the water.

Additional options include:

  • Utilize a shower filter on your shower head.
  • Convert the bathtub into a “shower” by placing a tub shower faucet adapter on the bathtub faucet.

While these tips will not guarantee that a woman will not be exposed to lead, it will help to reduce her risk.

Women’s sexual and reproductive health is a conversation and consideration that needs to take place along with all the other health risks and concerns associated with the Flint water crisis! We cannot afford to ignore the harmful effects that lead poisoning has on sexual and reproductive health. We cannot have a toxic infrastructure and expect to bring healthy babies into the world!

The Flint community requires a complex response! Not just a quick fix or Band-Aid. If the residents of Flint do not begin to take steps to reduce their exposure to lead, then the results will be lifelong, multi-intergenerational consequences. Finally, Flint must stand up! Even in the midst of the crisis, we still have to keep moving forward. When the spotlight is off, the celebrities have moved on to the next big American crisis and the water has dried up, life will still have to go on!

 

Dr. TaMara GriffinDr. TaMara loves nothing more than talking about sex! At the age of 13, she told her mother she wanted to be a Sex Therapist! Her passion is deeply rooted in spreading messages about healthy sexuality. Dr. TaMara is a sexologist, sex therapist, author and motivational speaker with more than 20 years of experience speaking, writing and teaching about sexuality. She travels the country helping individuals embrace and honor their sexuality. Dr. TaMara has published numerous books and articles. She is the owner of  7 to L.I.F.E. by Dr. TaMara. She is the publisher and editor-in-chief for Our Sexuality! Magazine. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, http://www.drtamaragriffin.com.#HowDareINot #ISaveLives