Integrating Menstrual Health and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
Menstrual Health (MH) is a vital component of Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH), and is integral to the continuum of sexual and reproductive health across the life course. Both MH and SRH have strong common determinants and shared outcomes, providing fertile ground to support and strengthen integrated programming, policy, and research. Given the current state of siloed policy and program interventions for MH and SRH in India (and across the world), the case for integration must be made and demonstrated across domains of policy, implementation, and evidence generation, using insights and successes from each of these domains to inform and strengthen action in others.
India is well placed to support and champion MH-SRH integration, having a rich foundation of MH and SRH (including adolescent health) policy and programs, through public sector and NGO efforts.
Global reports have examined the intersectionality between MH and SRH; however, country-focused synthesis and recommendations do not exist. Drawing on global insights and guidance (PSI, 2018; UNFPA 2021; Wilson et al 2021), this white paper makes the case for integrated action on MH and SRH in India by:
- Exploring the linkages between MH and SRH in the Indian context
- Understanding how MH and SRH are integrated in India through programs and policy
- Proposing recommendations for integrating MH and SRH
This paper presents five action areas to support the integration of MH and SRH in the Indian context, relevant for Government and non-Government stakeholders:
- Make the case for MH-SRH integration in policies, programs, and research
- Collate and generate evidence for and demonstrate MH-SRH integration
- Build understanding and capacities for MH-SRH integration at all levels
- Ensure a rights-based and inclusive approach to MH-SRH integration
- Foster collaboration across organizations working on MH and SRH to support the above.