Women's Health Care in Operation Iraqi Freedom: A Survey of Camps with Echelon I or II Facilities


Thomson, Brook Allen, and Peter Edward Nielsen. 2006. “Women’s Health Care in Operation Iraqi Freedom: A Survey of Camps with Echelon I or II Facilities.” Military Medicine 171 (3): 216-9.

Authors: Brook Allen Thomson , Peter Edward Nielsen


OBJECTIVE: To assess women's perceptions of health care delivery in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

METHODS: An anonymous questionnaire was distributed through command channels to female soldiers stationed in camps receiving echelon I or II care. Questions covered predeployment screening, contraceptive method availability and side effects, accessibility of gynecologic care, field hygiene counseling, and smoking status.

RESULTS: Two hundred fifty-one (91%) of 275 surveys were returned. Twenty-two percent of respondents had received no annual gynecologic examination including the Papanicolaou test/cervical cytologic study in the past year. Irregular bleeding was the most common gynecologic side effect. Ortho Evra patches fell off in 58% of cases; 23% of soldiers changed contraceptive methods because of unavailability, 21% experienced gynecologic problems, and 44% could not access gynecologic care. Twenty-six percent received predeployment menstrual hygiene counseling, and 77% attempting cycle control succeeded.

CONCLUSIONS: Gynecologic screening, contraceptive options, and cycle control counseling must occur before deployments. Specialty gynecologic care and medications for cycle control should be readily accessible to all female soldiers during deployments.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Health, Reproductive Health Countries: United States of America

Year: 2006

© 2023 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.