Psychiatrist Urges US Military To Take Birth Control “Much More Seriously.”

US News & World Report (1/28, Miller) reports that an article published this month in ​ the journal Military Medicine examines pregnancy rates among US servicewomen. Even though oral contraceptives and “some other forms of contraception are covered by the military (women are allowed a 180-day supply prior to deployment), access can be spotty, according to a 2013 study in the journal Contraception that found one-third of the 281 active duty servicewomen surveyed couldn’t get the type of birth control they wanted before deploying, and 41 percent had trouble refilling prescriptions on duty.

It is estimated that “rates of unintended pregnancies among active duty servicewomen range between 50 percent and 62 percent – the same as the civilian population, the Military Medicine article reports.” Retired colonel and forensic psychiatrist Elspeth Cameron Ritchie, MD, MPH, “urges the military to take birth control ‘much more seriously’ by better educating service members during basic training and counseling women on long-term birth control options like IUDs.” ​

Related Links:

— “Military Fertility: It’s Complicated,” Anna Medaris Miller, US News & World Report, January 28, 2016.

Posted in In The News.