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Menstrual Suppression for Military Women: Barriers to Care in the United States.

08:00 EDT 11th June 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Menstrual Suppression for Military Women: Barriers to Care in the United States."

Since 2000 there has been a 17% increase in the number of women serving in the U.S. military. As women enter the services in more significant numbers and are increasingly deployed to combat operations, the military must adopt policies and practices that accommodate the health care needs of female warriors. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, it is essential that obstetrician-gynecologists are knowledgeable and prepared to address the unique risks to women's reproductive health that are associated with military service. This article responds to this call by focusing on issues related to menstrual regulation or suppression in the female active-duty population. Analysis shows that although servicewomen have consistently reported a desire to suppress or regulate menstruation, rates of this practice remain low. Potential reasons for this include barriers to care and issues related to health literacy within the military population of patients and health care providers. This article provides an overview of the growing body of survey and interview data focusing on military women's health to show that there are gaps in knowledge and significant barriers to care that must be addressed. Ultimately, this work argues that medical care and counseling should be more responsive to the needs of female service members. Educating female service members on the option of menstrual suppression should be made a standard part of routine well-woman care and predeployment physicals, thereby removing sex-specific barriers and enabling more women to take on forward combat roles.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Obstetrics and gynecology
ISSN: 1873-233X
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