“Don't We Take Care of Our Veterans?” The Critical Need for Veteran's Health Services Infertility Services for Veterans: Policies, Challenges, and Opportunities
08 May 2020 (online)
Since October 2001, more than 2.7 million men and women of the armed forces have been deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, or in support of the “Global War on Terrorism.” Like previous wars, our nation will feel the after-effects of those deployments for a generation to come, as the wounds of war do not just affect the veteran, but impact their family and friends once they return to the home front. But unlike previous wars, less than 1% of our population serves their country in an all-volunteer military. This small percentage of Americans who volunteer to serve us and protect our freedoms (no matter what you might think about the politics surrounding wars) is increasingly removed from the rest of the population who choose other careers and options. Therefore, most of us are uneducated and unconnected to the often isolating experiences and frustrations of our veterans when they return to the home front and try to retake the stage of their former lives. In this discussion, we share the compelling stories of military members and veterans who struggle with infertility. We describe the need for policy and expansion of services for infertility care in the Department of Defense and Veterans Health Administration, and the challenges and opportunities that exist.
More information is available on the BWF VIVA webpage: https://bobwoodrufffoundation.org/ivf-fund-application/.
BWF VIVA video: https://vimeo.com/339347439.
Press release announcing the establishment of the VIVA: https://bobwoodrufffoundation.org/news/bob-woodruff-foundation-establishes-interim-funding-for-injured-veteran-ivf-services/.
- 1 Watson Institute International & Public Affairs Brown University. Costs of War. Available at: https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/costs/human/veterans . Accessed April 16, 2020
- 2 Service Women’s Action Network. https://www.servicewomen.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018ReproReport_SWAN-2.pdf . Accessed April 16, 2020
- 3 Chandra A, Copen C, Hervey Stephen E; National Center for Health Statistics. Infertility and Impaired Fecundity in the United States, 1982–2010: Data From the National Survey of Family Growth. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr067.pdf . Accessed April 16, 2020
- 4 Lindaman L, Pilsner J, Kroll-Desrosiers, et al. Semen quality parameters among U.S. veterans of operation enduring freedom, operation Iraqi freedom, and operation new dawn. Military Medicine 2017;182(5–6):e1775–e1781
- 5 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report 2019. Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. Available at: https://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/docs/data-sheets/2019/2019_National_Veteran_Suicide_Prevention_Annual_Report_508.pdf . Accessed April 16, 2020