Women in War: Operational Issues of Menstruation and Unintended Pregnancy


Christopher, Leslie A., and Leslie Miller. 2007. “Women in War: Operational Issues of Menstruation and Unintended Pregnancy.” Military Medicine 172 (1): 9–16.

Authors: Leslie Christopher, Leslie Miller


With rapid and frequent deployments around the world, the current high level of military operations demands combat readiness of every military member. In the U.S. Armed Forces, women represent 15% of active duty troops and 17% of reserve and Guard troops and are a critical component for mission accomplishment. The operational issues of menstruation and unintended pregnancy, unique to this population, can decrease a female member's military readiness and affect her ability to deploy. Strategies to mitigate and even eliminate these concerns include the optional use of hormonal medications to induce reversible menstrual cycle suppression. These medications, traditionally indicated for contraception, should be considered essential for female troops during training and deployment. This article, tailored specifically for military women, provides valuable information regarding the risks and benefits, as well as the various options available for menstrual cycle suppression.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Health, Reproductive Health, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2007

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