Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital
Female Veteran Reproductive Health Services
Women are now the fastest growing subgroup of Veterans and are expected to increase in the next 10 years. VA strives to provide excellent care for the unique health services that women require. Many women Veterans do not realize that VA provides a wide variety of women’s health care services to include gynecological care, infertility treatment, maternity care, menopause management, and other female-specific programs.
Most VA facilities can provide routine gynecological care such as Pap smears, birth control and Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) treatments. However, VA also can contract for services in a Veteran’s community for non-routine issues such as mammograms, maternity care and infertility treatment.
For those who struggle with infertility, VA does cover infertility assessments, counseling and treatments. VA will provide Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) also known as artificial insemination, but does not cover In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) services. VA will provide required surgeries and interventions as necessary for the IUI procedure.
Pre and post maternity care is provided by VA. Prenatal vitamins and belly support bands can be ordered by primary care physicians. Most VA facilities are not equipped to handle labor and delivery services. As a result, female Veterans most often will be sent to an outside facility closest to their home for that care. VA will pay for the maternity visits, hospital stay and post care for a new child, up to seven days after its birth. VA can also provide a breast pump, hands free breast pump bras, nursing bras, post-partum belts, nipple cream, and breast pads.
In addition, VA provides a wide variety of contraception ranging from birth control pills to Intrauterine Devices (IUD), birth control implants, and tubal sterilization services. Also, VA carries emergency contraception as well as male and female condoms.
Female veterans who suffer from a variety of vaginal and bladder issues can receive treatment and prosthetic devices to facilitate healing. VA offers pessaries, a small device that helps with vaginal or bladder prolapse, and vaginal dilators to facilitate a healthy pelvic floor.
For female Veterans who have passed to the next stage in their reproductive health, VA offers hormone therapy (HT) and non-hormonal pharmacologic treatments for menopause. These treatments can reduce hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex, decelerate bone loss and improve mood swings.
If female Veterans have any questions related to services that can or cannot be provided by VA, they should contact their primary care provider. For more information on women’s health care, please visit: http://www.womenshealth.va.gov/