Women's Reproductive Health

What to know

Women’s health and women’s reproductive health are a high priority for the Division of Reproductive Health (DRH). Our goal is to improve women’s health from menarche (first menstrual period) through menopause.

faces of three women of diverse ethnicities together smiling


DRH activities to improve women's health include efforts in the following areas:

Contraception (birth control)

There are several safe and highly effective methods of contraception available to prevent unintended pregnancy. Birth control methods include intrauterine contraception, hormonal and barrier methods, and permanent birth control. These methods can greatly reduce the chances of having an unintended pregnancy.

DRH provides clinical guidance to assist health care providers when they counsel women, men, and couples about contraceptive method choice, as well as clinical guidance to reduce medical barriers to contraception access and use.


Depression is common. Women can feel depressed for many reasons. Some may not even know why. There are ways to help you feel better, such as counseling or other treatments. Talking to your health care provider is a good first step if you think you may have depression.

We monitor prevalence and treatment of depression among women of reproductive age, during pregnancy and postpartum. Trying to get pregnant, being pregnant, or the birth of a baby can increase the risk for depression. Other events, such as losing a baby or having trouble getting pregnant, can also cause depression.

Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting

Female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C) procedures could mean piercing, cutting, removing, or sewing closed all or part of a girl’s or woman’s external genitals. DRH has worked to collect information on FGM/C and related health characteristics, behaviors, and attitudes from US-resident women who were born, or whose mothers were born, in a country where FGM/C is a prevalent practice.


Infertility means not being able to get pregnant after 1 year of trying. If a woman is 35 or older, infertility is based on 6 months of trying to become pregnant. In the United States, 1 in 5 (19%) of married women aged 15 to 49 with no prior births are unable to get pregnant after 1 year of trying.

CDC is committed to preventing infertility and its burden on women and families. We work with other federal agencies and nonprofit organizations to meet this goal. We also provide data and evidence about infertility, including its causes and consequences.