This issue brief, developed in collaboration with the Service Women’s Action Network, examines infertility incidence and access to in vitro fertilization (IVF) for servicemembers and veterans.
Infertility impacts millions of people in the United States. Infertility care, including IVF, is an important aspect of comprehensive health care and key to ensuring access to the full spectrum of reproductive rights. While data on infertility incidence among servicemembers and veterans is limited, preliminary research and anecdotal evidence suggests that this population may experience higher infertility rates than the general U.S. population. Nonetheless, servicemembers and veterans experience a number of barriers to accessing IVF, the most common form of assisted reproductive technology. Such barriers include legal restrictions on insurance coverage, cost barriers, and logistical and systemic barriers to care.
This issue brief provides an overview of important background on infertility, including clinical and social infertility, and racial disparities in incidence rates and access to care. The brief also examines data on infertility among servicemembers and veterans, and discusses in detail the numerous barriers they face in accessing care. Finally, the issue brief offers policy recommendations for ensuring equitable access to infertility care, including IVF, for servicemembers, veterans, and their dependents.
This issue brief is the third part of the Center’s “Serving Those Who Serve?” series focusing on reproductive health care for military personnel, veterans and their families. The first brief in the series addressed access to abortion care. The second brief addresses access to contraception.