Women's Health

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April 2019

VA Struggles to Overcome Women’s Healthcare Disparities

WASHINGTON—VA is straining its capacity and struggling against a culture that can sometimes be hostile to women as it responds to what VA officials consider a “tsunami wave of women veterans” over the last decade.... View Article

2019 issues

History of Abuse, PTSD Worsen Menopausal Symptoms

SAN FRANCISCO—Emotional abuse from a partner or spouse can increase the risk of heightened menopause symptoms, as can post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a VA-led study. Little is known about the prevalence of traumatic exposures... View Article

2019 issues

Military Women Face Barriers to Getting, Using Contraception

CAMBRIDGE, MA—Past studies have shown that the unintended pregnancy rate is higher among U.S. servicewomen than the general population and that servicewomen sometimes face barriers to contraceptive use. Yet, according to a study in Military... View Article

Current Issue

Fibromyalgia Presents Differently in Male, Female Veterans

Research on fibromyalgia, a poorly understood, chronically disabling pain syndrome, generally has focused on its clinical presentation and treatment.

Current Issue

DoD Study Finds That Type 2 Diabetes Increases Breast Cancer Mortality

Having Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM-2) increases mortality risk in breast cancer patients, regardless of whether diabetes was diagnosed before or after breast cancer, according to a recent study.

April 2018

Women’s Health Initiative at VA Increases Use of Point of Care Testing

NEW YORK — From 2000 to 2014, the number of women veterans receiving care through the VA doubled. Today, approximately 750,000 women are enrolled in the VHA healthcare system and about half a million use it each year.

April 2018

Chiropractic Helpful for Female Veterans with Back Pain

BUFFALO, NY — Does chiropractic management create clinically significant improvement in low back pain for female U.S. veterans? That was the question investigated by a study published recently in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological... View Article

April 2018

Mental Health Diagnoses Increase Coronary Artery Disease Risks in Women Veterans

BOSTON — Depression and anxiety can be debilitating on their own. For women veterans, the conditions raise an additional concern: They significantly increase the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD)—the leading cause of death in the United States.

April 2018

Advocacy Group Partners with VA to Improve Research on Female Concussions

BRONX, NY — In the civilian world, the word “concussion” might evoke the image of a football player and the sound of helmet-to-helmet contact. In a military environment, it might evoke the image of a... View Article

Breast Cancer

Chemotherapy Use Declines for Breast Cancer Patients

With growing concern about overtreatment of breast cancer as outcomes have improved over time, not much research has been performed on how chemotherapy use and oncologists' recommendations have changed in recent years.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Post-Menopausal Veterans Frequently Prescribed Long-term Opioid Therapy

The VA has focused on reducing the risk of opioid abuse and addiction by issuing guidance that strongly recommends against the use of the painkillers for chronic pain since the implementation of the Opioid Safety Initiative in 2013.

December 2017

HCV Complications Increasing for Women Veterans

HOUSTON—The epidemiology clinical course of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is affected by gender. Yet, few long-term longitudinal studies have examined trends in the incidence and prevalence of serious liver complications among women compared with... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Unintended Pregnancy More Likely in Active-Duty Troops

Unintended pregnancy is reportedly to be higher in the military population, according to a new study seeking to determine the rates of unintended pregnancy among active duty servicemembers compared to other military healthcare beneficiaries.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Study Urges More Use of Long-Acting Reversible Contraception

Long-acting reversible contraception is more effective for pregnancy prevention than shorter-acting contraceptive methods and has the potential to reduce healthcare disparities and costs, yet is generally underused, pointed out a new military study.

Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Surgery Increasing at VA

Women will make up approximately 10% of the VA healthcare system by 2020 and 15% by 2030, meaning that the need for women’s health services, including breast cancer treatment, will increase.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Combat Increases Female Veterans’ Mental Issues

While an association between combat exposure and post-deployment behavioral health problems has been demonstrated among U.S. military servicemembers returning from Afghanistan or Iraq in predominantly male samples, few studies have focused on the experiences of women.

April 2016

Caring for Older Women Veterans Presents Unique Challenges

When it comes to health issues, older female veterans aren’t always like other women,

Agencies Home

Women Veterans Have Higher Prevalence of Arthritis than Male Colleagues

DURHAM, NC - While the commitment to physical fitness demanded of active duty forces can keep many ailments at bay, the rigors of service also bring an increased risk of arthritis and other rheumatic diseases, especially for young women entering (and exiting) the military.

2014 Issues

New Mothers May Need Counseling, Training to Pass Postpartum Military Fitness Test

By Annette M. Boyle FAIRFIELD, CA —Many women return to their units after pregnancy with one overriding concern: “Can I pass the fitness test?” The vast majority of those women do end up passing the... View Article

2013 Issues

More Screening Likely to Lead to Increased Breast Cancer Treatment Delays at VA

By Brenda L. Mooney BALTIMORE — Women are the fastest growing demographic among U.S. veterans, and the VA sometimes is challenged in keeping up with their needs. A new study from the Baltimore VA Medical... View Article

2013 Compendium of Federal Medicine

Unplanned Pregnancies Among Active-Duty Women Increase, Higher Than Civilian Population

By Annette M. Boyle Kate Grindlay, Senior Project Manager at Ibis Reproductive Health CAMBRIDGE, MA – Despite the availability of free contraceptives, unintended pregnancy among active-duty military servicemembers is on the rise and occurs at... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

Diclegis Is Only Drug Approved for Nausea, Vomiting in Pregnant Women

BLAINVILLE, QUEBEC – Diclegis (doxylamine succinate and pyridoxine hydrochloride) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat pregnant women experiencing nausea and vomiting. It currently is the only approved treatment for... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

Who Is More Likely to Develop PTSD? Women Have More Sexual Trauma; Men Have Greater Combat Exposure

Paula P. Schnurr, Ph.D. The ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are enabling researchers to learn more about a question that has plagued them for decades: Is there a difference between men and women who... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

Study Seeks Strategies to Help Mothers Maintain Family Relationships During Deployment

WASHINGTON — How are military women who deploy to theater handling separation from their children? With a grant from DoD’s TriService Nursing Research Program, Janice Griffin Agazio, PhD, CNRP, RN, assistant professor of nursing at... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

Unplanned Pregnancies Among Deployed Women Affect More Than Mother and Child; Troop Readiness at Issue

Unintended pregnancies among deployed women in the U.S. Armed Forces create not only a significant challenge for the mother-to-be but also can impact troop morale and readiness, according to the author of a new study... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

With the Majority of Military Pregnancies Unintended, Abortion Issue Raised Again in Congress

WASHINGTON — With more than half of all pregnancies unintended among female troops, the explosive issue of abortions is again being reviewed by Congress. In the latest salvo in that ongoing battle, New York’s Rep.... View Article

2011 Issues

Survey: Women Veterans Dissatisfied with VA Care, Especially Sexual Trauma Screening for New Enrollees

WASHINGTON—Women veterans are dissatisfied with many of the services provided through the VA health-care system, including screening processes for military sexual trauma (MST) that new enrollees receive, according to a survey conducted by the American... View Article

2011 Issues

New House Bill Seeks to Relax Benefit Requirements for Victims of Military Sexual-Assault-Related PTSD

WASHINGTON—In June 2010, legislation was passed making it considerably easier for veterans diagnosed with PTSD to receive service-connected benefits and care from VA. Prior to the law’s passage, veterans were required to show a diagnosis... View Article

2011 Issues

Army Battles Sexual Assault Within Troops, Improves Follow-Up Care of Victims

WASHINGTON—Not that long ago, a woman who had been sexually assaulted might have gone to an Army Military Treatment Facility (MTF), had a forensic examination and then would go home without anyone at the MTF... View Article

2011 Compendium of Federal Medicine

Once Used to Keep Women from Top Ranks, Menopause Now Managed Within VA, Military Health Systems

When President Harry Truman signed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act into law in 1948, it was touted as opening full military service and veterans’ benefits to women, but many restrictions remained in place. Women... View Article

2011 Compendium of Federal Medicine

Menstrual Suppression Could Help Deployed Women Avoid Discomfort, Inconvenience

The role of women in the military is changing. Whereas they may have acted as support personnel in earlier conflicts, they now play an active part in combat support and counterinsurgency operations.1 As of September... View Article

2011 Issues

Researchers Identifying Gender Differences in Combat Trauma

BETHESDA, MD—Women comprise nearly 20-percent of the military. Many women, like their male counterparts, return from combat traumatized by the events they experienced. Researchers and healthcare providers are beginning to recognize that gender plays a... View Article

FDA News

Gaps in Women’s Health Research Remain Despite Progress

WASHINGTON, DC—Research into women’s healthcare has improved over the last 20 years, but still lags in several key areas, according to an IoM report released last month. A concerted push to boost research on women’s... View Article

October 2010

Recent Womens Health Studies

Assessment of Sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine for Intermittent Preventive Treatment of Malaria in Pregnancy in Malawi Purpose: The purpose of this study is to determine the efficacy and effectiveness of sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy for reducing... View Article