NCERT Solutions for class 12th Biology Chapter 4 Reproductive Health


Question 1. What do you think is the significance of reproductive health in a society?

Sol. Reproductive health refers to the diseases, disorders and conditions that affect the functioning of the male and female reproductive systems during all stages of life.
Reproductive health in a society is significant because the people are aware of the following:

  1. Birth control methods and advantages of small family.
  2. Sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS, syphilis etc and methods to avoid them.
  3. Importance of breast feeding and post-natal care of the mother and baby.
  4. Equal opportunities for the male and female children.
  5. Sex abuse and sex related crimes etc.
  6. Better sex education and awareness which helps to maintain the population and prevent population explosion.
  7. Better family planning which lead to reduction of family size.

Note : Spreading awareness regarding uncontrolled population growth and social evils among youth individual’s will help in building up a reproductive healthy society.

Question 2. Suggest the aspects of reproductive health which need to be given special attention in the present scenario.

Sol. Reproductive health deals with the reproductive processes, functions and system at all stages of life.
The aspects of reproductive health which need to be given special attention in the present scenario are as follows:

  1. Creating awareness among the people regarding various reproductive­ related aspects. It can be done through Government and non-government agencies, giving sex-education in the schools, parents and other relatives, teachers etc.
  2. Creating awareness on providing and improving existing medical facilities and attention to the problems like menstrual irregularities, pregnancy related aspects, delivery, medical termination of pregnancy, STDs, birth control, infertility.
  3. Post-natal child maternal management is another important aspect of the reproductive and child health care programme.

Question 3. Is sex education necessary in schools? Why?

Sol.• Yes, sex education is necessary in school.
•Introducing sex education in the schools of lndia is an important issue because of the following reasons:

  1. It encourages providing the right or correct information to young people so as to discourage children from believing in myths & having misconceptions about sex-related aspects.
  2. Proper information about reproductive organs, safe & hygienic sexual practices, STD’s etc. would help people, those in the adolescent age group to lead a healthy reproductive life
  3. Physical changes during adolescence are fully explained hence help can be provided if there is any abnormality. Changes in behavior are predicted. It prevents the development of mental problems. In many countries, sexual education raises much contentious debate. Chief among the controversial points is whether covering child sexuality is valuable or detrimental; the use of birth control such as condoms and hormonal contraception, and the impact of such use on pregnancy, outside marriage, teenage pregnancy, and the transmission of STDs. Increasing support for abstinence – only sex education by conservative groups has been one of the primary causes of these controversies.

Question 4. Do you think that reproductive health in our country has improved in the past 50 years? Hyes, mention some such areas of improvement.

Sol. • Yes, in the last 50 years, reproductive health in our country has improved.
• Area of such improvement is given below:

  1. Massive child immunisation, which lead to decrease in child or infant mortality
  2. Maternity and child health, due to better post-natal care of mother and baby.
  3. Increasing use of contraceptives, this result in a decrease in the rate of transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.
  4. Family planning, which create awareness of having small and healthy family. Bringing sexual and reproductive health services to the millions of people living in countries which still suffer from short life expectancies, high levels of child and maternal mortality, child labour and illiteracy and poor overall health remains a major challenge for governments and non government organisations.

Question 5. What are the suggested reasons for population explosion?

Sol. Population explosion may be defined as a sudden and rapid rise on population growth. The suggested reasons for the population explosion are:

  1. Increased health facilities along with better living conditions had an explosive impact on the growth of the population.
  2. Decline in death rate.
  3. Decline in maternal mortality rate (MMR).
  4. Decline in infant mortality rate (IMR).
  5. Increase in the number of people in the reproductive age.
  6. Immigration to better-developed countries due to several reasons like a better job, opportunities, war and natural causes like hurricanes, earthquakes and so on.

Question 6. Is the use of contraceptives justified? Give reasons.

Sol. A contraceptive is a device or drug that prevents a woman from becoming pregnant. It helps to protect against both sexually transmitted infections (ST is) and pregnancy.
Yes, the use of contraceptives is justified due to the following reasons:

  1. To overcome the population growth rate, contraceptive methods are used.
  2. It will help in bringing the birth rate down & subsequently curb population growth.
  3. With the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS in the country, there is now a growing realization about the need to know about contraception & condoms.
  4. They are also helpful in preventing unwanted pregnancies.
  5. They do not interfere with sexual desire of sexual act.

Question 7. Removal of gonads cannot be considered as a contraceptive option. Why?

Sol. Gonads are male and female primary reproductive gland that produces reproductive cells (called gametes-sperm and egg) for reproduction and secrete sex hormones which are needed for the growth and development of primary and secondary reproductive organs and structures. In males, the gonads are called testes whereas in females they are called ovaries.
Removal of gonads or their parts cannot be considered as a contraceptive option because they are not used to prevent unwanted pregnancies and the spreading of STDs . Removal of gonads is usually referred to as a surgical method of sterilization which will lead to permanent infertility and also it will stop the secretions of essential sex hormones that are required for the normal functioning of the accessory reproductive parts.

Two important methods of sterilisation are called vasectomy and tubectomy which are carried out respectively in males and females. In both conditions, & both males and females will be dependent on hormones in their remaining lives to regulate the functioning of reproductive organs. These are very effective but their irreversibility is very poor, hence they are not considered good options for contraception.

Question 8. Amniocentesis for sex determination is banned in our country. Is this ban necessary? Comment.

Sol. Yes, the statutory ban on amniocentesis in our country is necessary, because it is misused to find out the sex of the fetus leading to female foeticides. Amniocentesis is the prenatal diagnostic technique, that helps to find out chromosomal (genetic) disorders, and metabolic disorders of the fetus. It is carried out in the early second trimester of pregnancy. In this procedure, amniotic fluid is removed that surrounds and protects the baby during pregnancy. The fluid contains fetal cells and various chemicals produced by the baby. The solution to the problem is not passing more laws, such as banning sex determination ultrasounds but raising the social & economic status of women.

Question 9. Suggest some methods to assist infertile couples to have children.

Sol.• Infertility is the inability of a sexually active, non-contracepting couple to achieve pregnancy in one year. Specialized health care units (infertility clinics) could help in the diagnosis and corrective treatment of some of these disorders and enable these couples to have children. However, where such corrections are not possible, the infertile couples could be assisted to have children through certain special techniques commonly known as ART (Assisted Reproductive Technologies).
Success rates vary depending on many factors like the age of the partners, the reason for infertility, and the type of ART if the egg is fresh or frozen.

Various methods of ART available to help such couples are as follows:

(i) It is a process in which an egg is fertilized by sperm in a test tube or elsewhere outside the body. It is commonly known as the ‘Test Tube Baby’ program. In this procedure, eggs (ova) from a woman’s ovary are removed and fertilized with sperm in a laboratory procedure, and then the fertilized egg (embryo) is transferred to the woman’s uterus for further development. The babies produced from this method are known as test tube babies.

(ii) Zygote Intra Fallopian Transfer (ZIFT) : ZIFT is used when blockage in the fallopian tubes prevents the normal binding of sperm to the egg. In this procedure, the egg is fertilized in vitro (outside the body) and then the zygote or early embryos (up to 8 blastomeres) are transferred into the fallopian tube.

(iii) Intra Uterine Transfer (JUT): Embryos with more than 8 blastomeres could be transferred into the uterus, to complete its further development. Embryos formed by in vivo fertilization (fusion of gametes within the female) also could be used for such transfer to assist those females who cannot conceive.

(iv) Gamete Intra Fallopian Transfer (GIFT): In this technique, eggs are retrieved from a woman, mixed with sperm & immediately transferred to the recipient female’s fallopian tube that is unable to produce eggs but has the ability to conceive.

(v) Artificial insemination (Al): In this technique, the semen is collected either from the husband or a healthy donor & is artificially introduced either into the vagina or into the uterus of the female (IUI-Intra uterine insemination). It is employed when the male partner is not able to inseminate the female or has low sperm count.

(vi) Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (JCS/) : In this method, sperm & eggs are retrieved from both the parents. A single sperm is injected directly into an egg, and then the fertilized egg is implanted into the woman’s uterus.

Question 10. What are the measures one has to take to prevent from contracting STDs?

Sol. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) get transferred from one individual to the other through sexual contact. Adolescents and young adults are at the greatest risk of acquiring these sexually transmitted diseases.

STDs can be prevented by the following measures:

  1. Use sterile needles if injecting intravenous drugs.
  2. Delay having sexual relationships as long as possible. The younger a person is when he or she begins to have sex for the first time, the more susceptible he or she becomes to developing an STD.
  3. Learn the symptoms of STDs and seek medical help as soon as possible if any symptoms develop.
  4. Avoid having sexual intercourse during menstruation.
  5. Avoid sex with unknown partners/multiple partners.
  6. Always use condoms during intercourse.
  7. In case of doubt, go for a medical professional for early detection and get complete treatment if diagnosed with the disease.
  8. Education & counseling of persons at risk on ways to adopt safer sexual behavior.

Question 11. State True/False with an explanation.

(a) Abortions could happen spontaneously too. (True/False)
(b) Infertility is defined as the inability to produce viable offspring and is always due to abnormalities/defects in the female partner. (True/False)
(c) Complete lactation could help as a natural method of contraception. (True/ False)
(d) Creating awareness about sex-related aspects is an effective method to improve the reproductive health of people. (True/False)

Sol. (a) True. Spontaneous abortion is non-induced embryonic or fetal death or passage of products (the fetus, foetal membranes, and placenta) from the uterus of conception before 20 wk gestation. Due to internal factors like incompatibility, abortion could happen spontaneously. Chromosomal abnormalities are a direct cause of spontaneous abortion.

Note : Autosomal trisomy was the most commonly identified anomaly (52 percent),followed by polyploidy (21 percent) and monosomy X (13 percent) in spontaneous abortion. Most chromosomal abnormalities that result in spontaneous abortion are random events, such as maternal and paternal gametogenesis errors, dispermy, and non-disjunction.

(b) False. Infertility is due to abnormalities/defects in either male or female or both partners.
(c) True. Complete lactation could help as a natural method of contraception. Lactation is limited to a period of up to six months after parturition. Lactation acts as a temporary contraceptive method that takes advantage of the way in which breastfeeding naturally makes a woman much less likely to conceive. Whilst breastfeeding, the amount of estrogen produced by a woman’s body is reduced thereby reducing the process of ovulation (release of egg from Graafian follicle into the fallopian tubes).


  • Combined hormonal contraceptives are not recommended for use in breastfeeding women until at least six months after childbirth, as using these methods whilst breastfeeding may interfere with breast milk production and also reduce the quality of breast milk.
  • Breastfeeding doesn’t completely avoid to getting pregnant but the chance of getting pregnant is lower

(d) True. Creating awareness about sex-related aspects removes the myths and misconceptions about these problems.

Question 12. Correct the following statements :
(a) Surgical methods of contraception prevent gamete formation.
(b) All sexually transmitted diseases are completely curable.
(c) Oral pills are very popular contraceptives among rural women.
(d) In E.T. techniques, embryos are always transferred into the uterus.

Sol.(a) Surgical methods of contraception prevent gamete transport & thereby prevent conception.
(b) All sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are not completely curable. Except for hepatitis B, genital herpes, and HIV infections, other STD diseases are completely curable if detected early and treated properly.
(c) Oral pills are very popular contraceptives among educated urban women.
(d) In E.T. (embryo transfer) techniques, embryos are not always transferred into the uterus. Because embryos with 8 blastomeres are transferred into the fallopian tube and more than 8 blastomeres are transferred into the uterus.

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