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...

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 | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Readiness Capabilities

MSMR Vol. 28 No. 06 - June 2021

Report
6/1/2021

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: The cost of lower extremity fractures among active duty U.S. Army soldiers, 2017; Early identification of SARS-CoV-2 emergence in the Department of Defense via retrospective analysis of 2019–2020 upper respiratory illness samples; Brief report: Medical encounters for snakebite envenomation, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, 2016–2020; Department of Defense mid-season vaccine effectiveness estimates for the 2019–2020 influenza season.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MHS Minute May 2021

Video
5/28/2021
Image of MHS Minute Carousel

In this month's MHS Minute, the DHA's commitment to transforming military health continues. The DHA officially established the Tidewater market in SE Virginia, serving over 200,000 patients. The MHS is standing up 19 markets like Tidewater to allow healthcare providers to better meet the needs of their patients by improving coordination between facilities in the area.

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | Health Readiness | MHS GENESIS

ADVISOR brings support to medical personnel in austere environments

Article
5/27/2021
Photo of Michael Kile, LPN, the operational readiness program manger

The Military Health System offers the Advanced Virtual Support for Operational Forces program, or ADVISOR, for remote military medical professionals.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Combat Support | Health Readiness

Signs and symptoms of a stroke, and what to do about them

Article
5/18/2021
Infographic about the sign of a stroke

For Stroke Awareness Month, we highlight some of the most important facts about strokes in men and women.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Traumatic Brain Injury

MSMR Vol. 28 No. 05 - May 2021

Report
5/1/2021

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Absolute and relative morbidity burdens attributable to various illnesses and injuries, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2020; Hospitalizations, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2020; Ambulatory visits, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2020; Surveillance snapshot: Illness and injury burdens, reserve component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2020; Surveillance snapshot: Illness and injury burdens, recruit trainees, U.S. Armed Forces, 2020; Medical evacuations out of the U.S. Central Command, active and reserve components, U.S. Armed Forces, 2020; Morbidity burdens attributable to various illnesses and injuries, deployed active and reserve component service members, U.S. Armed Forces, 2020; Absolute and relative morbidity burdens attributable to various illnesses and injuries, non-service member beneficiaries of the Military Health System, 2020.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 28 No. 04 - April 2021

Report
4/1/2021

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Disparities in COVID-19 vaccine initiation and completion among active component service members and healthcare personnel, 11 December 2020–12 March 2021; Update: Heat illness, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2020; Update: Exertional rhabdomyolysis, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2016–2020; Update: Exertional hyponatremia, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2005–2020; Skin and soft tissue infections, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, January 2016–September 2020.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

METC trains dietician techs to build, support a Medically Ready Force

Article
3/18/2021
Military health personnel preparing food trays while wearing a face mask

Nutrition plays an important role in military readiness.

Recommended Content:

Nutritional Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Health Readiness

MSMR Vol. 28 No. 03 - March 2021

Report
3/1/2021

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Influenza surveillance trends and influenza vaccine effectiveness among Department of Defense beneficiaries during the 2019–2020 influenza season; Influenza outbreak during Exercise Talisman Sabre, Queensland, Australia, July 2019; Update: Sexually transmitted infections, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2012–2020; A retrospective cohort study of blood lead levels among special operations forces soldiers exposed to lead at a firing range in Germany.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

Army hospital powers through record-breaking winter storms

Article
2/22/2021
A military medical center covered in snow

BAMC comes away from major winter storm unscathed.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Readiness Capabilities

Training for a healthy heart can improve overall health

Article
2/22/2021
Military personnel wearing a mask exercising in the gym

Service members must be heart healthy to perform optimally throughout their military careers.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Physical Fitness | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Heart Health

Order of Military Medical Merit presented to USU medical student

Article
2/19/2021
Military personnel receiving the Order of Military Merit

Army 2nd becomes the first USU medical student to receive the Order of the Military Medical Merit.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness | Global Health Engagement
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 16 - 30 Page 2 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.