Female Solider’s Gynecological Healthcare in Operation Iraqi Freedom

Citation:

Nielsen, Peter. 2009. “Female Solider’s Gynecological Healthcare in Operation Iraqi Freedom.” Military Medicine 174 (11): 1172–6.

Author: Peter Nielsen

Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: To describe female soldiers' predeployment gynecologic healthcare screening, common symptoms, and availability of gynecologic care during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

METHODS: A questionnaire distributed to U.S. military females presenting to outpatient facilities in level 3 echelon of care between August 2005 and March 2006.

RESULTS: Three-hundred ninety seven of 401 surveys (99%) were returned. Ten percent of deployed females (40) had no cervical cytology screening 1 year before deployment and 27% of the 399 required additional treatments for abnormal cervical cytology during deployment. Thirty-five percent reported a gynecologic problem and 44% received care at their base. Irregular bleeding was the most common gynecologic problem. Forty-four percent of women used some form of hormonal contraception; however, 43% changed methods because of unavailability. One-third of soldiers received pre-deployment menses regulation counseling, with 48% of those using continuous oral contraceptive pills for cycle control.

CONCLUSION: Gaps remain in predeployment gynecologic screening and counseling. These critical predeployment medical evaluations must remain a priority for all female soldiers to ensure unit readiness.

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Health, Reproductive Health Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2009

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