Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

New MHS Podcast Explores Women’s Health in the Military

A new podcast about women's health is available for download.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Over the past 25 years, the U.S. military has incorporated servicewomen into every occupational specialty, where they have demonstrably improved mission capability and success.

However, the availability and scope of women's health services within the Military Health System continues to vary significantly, with some MHS providers unfamiliar with delivering women's health care, particularly to servicewomen in the field. Helping overcome the specific health care obstacles servicewomen encounter is crucial to ensuring the readiness, health, and well-being of the military. This is one of the reasons why the MHS is launching its new podcast series, <a 'href="https://www.health.mil/About-MHS/OASDHA/Defense-Health-Agency/Operations/Clinical-Support-Division/Connected-Health/Military-Health-Podcasts#women" title="Military Health Podcast on Wise Health for Women Warriors" target="_blank">Wise Health for Women Warriors.

Wise Health for Women Warriors pulls experts from across the MHS's Women and Infant Clinical Community to answer the most frequently asked questions that military providers have about women's health. The podcast seeks to educate and empower MHS primary care providers to improve health care delivery and outcomes for servicewomen, before, during, and after deployment and throughout their military careers.

The Department of Defense has made great strides over the past 10 years regarding women's health – servicewomen now get 12 weeks of maternity leave instead of six weeks. And female service members are now protected from deployment for 12 months after childbirth. The podcast seeks to build on this progress by providing information and insight about overcoming health care challenges that servicewomen face.

Men don't have to think about changing a tampon or pad down range; or handling urinary urgency, infections, or incontinence when the nearest bathroom is half a mile away. After childbirth, men aren't required to return to work while still recovering and managing breastfeeding – and then go pass a fitness test. Men do not experience these demands on their body or women's age limitations on fertility.

I have experienced these challenges myself, both as a mother and a physician. In 2012, I had only six weeks of maternity leave and had to deploy six months postpartum. I had to pump and dump my breast milk all over Kuwait and Afghanistan while making my way through transient tents to get to Jalalabad so I could provide breast milk for my baby for at least six months. Professionally, I have met many servicewomen who delay starting a family to focus on their careers – a common and often difficult choice that makes infertility a real, widespread challenge.

Wise Health for Women Warriors offers an informed dialogue on real-world health care challenges servicewomen encounter and clinically proven ways to help address them. Through this podcast, my guests and I – and the Military Health System – are striving to make things better for the women coming after us.

Empowering Servicewomen

Servicewomen represent a growing and increasingly important subgroup of MHS health care recipients. According to the Defense Health Board's November 2020 report Active Duty Women's Health Care Services, women account for 17% – more than one in six – of active-duty personnel, totaling approximately 225,000 women across all military branches. More than four in 10 MHS active duty and beneficiaries are women, and women have emerged as the fastest-growing active-duty population.

The DHB report also found that servicewomen often lack access to – and even awareness of – products and services for self-diagnosis and self-care of treatable and preventable women's health issues, particularly in operational environments.

In response, the DHB recommended empowering servicewomen to perform self-care as equal partners in their care, incorporating gender-sensitive customization where appropriate. The report endorsed using digital health technology as a scalable, low-cost way to deliver health information and services to women in the military at the point of need, especially in remote and resource-constrained environments.

In addition to this podcast, the MHS offers a breadth of evidence-based digital health technology resources for women’s health. One of these is Decide + Be Ready, a mobile health app specifically designed to support deployed servicewomen in making educated decisions on contraceptives, reproductive health, and family planning.

Investment in the Future

It is challenging for women sometimes to stay in the military as they build a family and build a career. As servicewomen increase their prevalence and prominence in the U.S. military, the MHS must continue to meet them where they are, understand their needs and situations from their perspective, and help them best address those needs with tools that work best for them.

This approach to improving women’s health care is an important investment in the future. How the MHS addresses women's health issues directly impacts the number of women in the military.

The more we can make life better for servicewomen by proactively focusing on their specific health needs, the more we remove the question of whether women will have the medical resources and provider support they need to accomplish their mission, the more women will choose to join and stay

You also may be interested in...

Wounded Warriors and Caregivers Online Resources

Article
11/29/2021
Airmen race for a loose ball during an Air Force Wounded Warrior basketball game

The Defense Department programs listed here are staffed with nearly 800 recovery care coordinators and case managers who are standing by to respond to individual queries.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Warrior Care

Mental Stress is like a ‘Check Engine Light’ Flashing–Don’t Ignore It

Article
11/29/2021
Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jason David talks about his  journey of recovery through the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program during a video conversation with Defense Health Agency Command Sgt. Major Michael Gragg.

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jason David speaks about his own journey of recovery through the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Warrior Care | Warrior Care – A Virtual Show of Strength | Psychological Fitness

Army Recovery Care Coordinator Guides Veterans, Caregivers in Recovery

Article
11/12/2021

A warrior care coordinator shares how she supports recovering service members, their families and caregivers.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | IHD COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Center for Health Care Personnel | Immunization Healthcare

MHS reaches 6 million doses of vaccine against COVID-19

Photo
11/10/2021
Airmen of the 139th Airlift Wing, Missouri Air National Guard, receive COVID-19 immunizations as a part of the federal mandate at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base, St. Joseph, Missouri, Oct. 2, 2021. The 139th Medical Group oversees the operation. .

An airman receives a COVID-19 immunizations as a part of the federal mandate at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base, St. Joseph, Missouri, Oct. 2, 2021.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

MHS Reaches 6 Million Doses of Vaccine Against COVID

Article
11/10/2021
Airmen of the 139th Airlift Wing, Missouri Air National Guard, receive COVID-19 immunizations as a part of the federal mandate at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base, St. Joseph, Missouri, Oct. 2, 2021. The 139th Medical Group oversees the operation. .

Military passes 6 million mark for COVID-19 shots administered across the Military Health System.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Information for Military Treatment Facility Directors

Giving Back Helps Veteran Caregiver Connect with Military Caregivers

Article
11/10/2021
Veteran caregiver, Diane Hupko with U.S. Army veteran she cares for smile at camera

Giving back helps veteran caregiver connect with other military caregivers to build a community of support.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Are You Prepared for Flu Season? Let TRICARE Help.

Article
11/1/2021
A hospital corpsman administers an influenza vaccination to an airman as part of a seasonal shot exercise onboard Naval Air Station Sigonella.

Flu season is here once again. Are you prepared? With the COVID-19 Delta variant​ continuing to spread and our health care system overburdened, it’s important for all of us to help combat the spread of flu. And the best way to do so is to get a flu shot.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Total Force Fitness | Changes to TRICARE

WICC Podcast

Photo
10/18/2021

Today’s female service member population is now at 17%.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Warrior Care | Total Force Fitness

Expeditionary Medical Force Brings Optimal Readiness in Pacific Region

Article Around MHS
10/18/2021
A male soldier talks about a chart to to a female sailor.

The 121st Field Hospital of the 549th Hospital Center recently introduced an innovative way to increase medical Soldiers’ proficiency and competency by enhancing access to the field hospital equipment.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Combat Support

Brain Resilliance

Photo
10/14/2021
Enriched environments and new experiences encourage brain plasticity. When you learn something new—such as a new instrument, language, skill, or sport—new neuropathways are created in your brain.

Soldiers training for operations.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Total Force Fitness | In the Spotlight

Health Promotion duo optimizes health on Incirlik Air Base

Article Around MHS
9/30/2021
Air Force Capt. Sydney Sloan, 39th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron health promotion element chief (right), and Air Force Senior Airman Gloriann Manapsal, 39th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron health promotion technician (left), promote making healthy choices at the Sultan’s Inn Dining Facility on Incirlik Air Base, Turkey.

The 39th Operation Medical Readiness Squadron health promotion team provides and integrates evidence-based programs to optimize the health and readiness, even during these unprecedented times.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Total Force Fitness | Coronavirus

MSMR Vol. 28 No. 09 - September 2021

Report
9/1/2021

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Cross-sectional analysis of the association between perceived barriers to behavioral health care and intentions to leave the U.S. Army; Is suicide a social phenomenon during the COVID-19 pandemic? Differences by birth cohort on suicide among active component Army soldiers, 1 January 2000–4 June 2021; Brief report: Gender differences and diagnostic correlates of aggressive behaviors among active component sailors; Surveillance snapshot: A simple model estimating the impact of COVID-19 on lost duty days among U.S. service members; Update: Routine screening for antibodies to human immunodeficiency virus, civilian applicants for U.S. Military Service and U.S. Armed Forces, active and reserve components, January 2016–June 2021

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 28 No. 08 - August 2021

Report
8/1/2021

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Long-acting reversible contraceptive use, active component service women, U.S. Armed Forces, 2016–2020; Oral cavity and pharynx cancers, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2007–2019; The evolution of military health surveillance reporting: a historical review

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 28 No. 07 - July 2021

Report
7/1/2021

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Long-acting reversible contraceptive use, active component service women, U.S. Armed Forces, 2016–2020; Oral cavity and pharynx cancers, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2007–2019; The evolution of military health surveillance reporting: a historical review.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

Army’s 773rd administers mobile COVID-19 testing during DEF21

Article
6/4/2021
Three military personnel, wearing masks and lab coats, pose for a picture in an Albanian lab.

Approximately 800 Army Reserve soldiers from the U.S. and Europe participated in DEFENDER-Europe 21.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Readiness Capabilities
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 37

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.