Semin Reprod Med 2019; 37(05/06): 232-238
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1701633
Review Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Fertility Preservation Before Deployment: Oocyte and Sperm Freezing in Members of the Active Duty Military

Anne E. Martini
1  Department of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
Joseph O. Doyle
2  Shady Grove Fertility, Rockville, Maryland
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
10 February 2020 (online)


Active duty military service and deployment has the potential to compromise fertility through combat-related genitourinary injury, gonadotoxic exposures, and physical separation from a partner. Despite a growing interest among the military community as well as promising efficacy and safety data, fertility preservation remains an uncovered benefit for active duty soldiers. In 2016, the Pentagon proposed a program that would cover oocyte and sperm cryopreservation for any member of the active duty military desiring its use. Regrettably, that funding was not secured and predeployment fertility preservation remains an out-of-pocket expense. Today, advocacy groups, non-for-profit organizations, and physicians remain vigilant in their attempts to drive another government initiative through Congress. While activism continues, it is important to stress the value of fertility preservation counseling in soldiers' predeployment preparation and military family planning.