Skip to main content

Military Health System

New MHS Podcast Explores Women’s Health in the Military

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

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Women's Health

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, 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...

MHS refractive surgery experts discuss warfighter readiness

Article
1/13/2021
Image of Mr. McCaffery looking at a monitor with an eye on it. Click to open a larger version of the image.

Refractive surgery is any surgery that eliminates the need for glasses or contact lenses.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Readiness Capabilities

DOD Launches “My MilLife Guide” Text Message Program to Boost Wellness

Article
1/11/2021
The new My MilLife Guide program supports the wellness of the military community.

DoD has launched My MilLife Guide, a new program that sends text messages designed to help the military community boost overall wellness while navigating stresses related to COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Public Health | Total Force Fitness | Health Readiness & Combat Support

Decreasing cervical cancer – one HPV vaccine at a time

Article
1/7/2021
Image of medical personnel showing report to soldier. Click to open a larger version of the image.

Early detection and prevention methods are key to help women fight and prevent this form of cancer.

Recommended Content:

Women's Health | Cervical Cancer | Cancers of the Female Reproductive System

Barksdale AFB trains medics with Tactical Combat Casualty Care

Article
12/30/2020
Military personnel participating in training exercise, treat a dummy for injuries

Medics of the 2nd Medical Group are becoming a whole lot more lethal, in a good way.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Readiness Capabilities

Health literacy focuses on empowering patients to engage in their care

Article
12/30/2020
Medical personnel, wearing a mask, inserting an IV into a patient

How patient-doctor communication improves the health care experience.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support

Protecting the Force: How the MHS helped sustain readiness in the face of COVID

Article
12/23/2020
Hospital personnel treating a patient on a stretcher

The Military Health System is reviewing how it kept warfighters mission-ready and units online in 2020 during the ongoing pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Readiness Capabilities

AFHSD’s GEIS collect data worldwide to support force protection

Article
12/22/2020
Medical personnel scanning forehead of soldier with thermometer

AFHSD/GEIS continue work with partners across the globe in their efforts to combat COVID-19 and protect military readiness.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Environmental Exposures | Global Health Engagement | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Nurse-led research aims to improve battlefield medicine

Article
12/21/2020
Military nurses working on a simulated patient in a helicopter

[O]ne of their goals is to create novel solutions to optimize survival and functional recovery of burn casualties.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Research & Innovation | Nursing in the Military Health System | Readiness Capabilities

Deputy defense secretary stresses team approach in battling COVID

Article
12/10/2020
Soldier wearing mask, standing at computer monitors in an office building

The Military Health System has played an important role implementing the National Defense Strategy, Norquist said.

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Transformation | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Health Readiness & Combat Support | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

From Ghana to Washington, Sailor provides leadership during COVID-19

Article
9/10/2020

Acquiring supplies, in general, has been a hurdle worldwide.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Health Readiness & Combat Support | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Air Force updates medical courses with COVID-19 content, procedures

Article
8/24/2020
Two technicians in full PPE in a lab

COVID-19 has shed new light on the methods of conducting medical training and education.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Health Readiness & Combat Support | Health Readiness & Combat Support | Education & Training

Military Medicine Joining Forces to Fight COVID-19 All Around the World

Article
7/17/2020
A group of military personnel posing for a picture

Multiple commands from the Navy and Air Force responded to the request with personnel from all over the country.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Health Readiness & Combat Support

COVID-19: Lifestyle Tips to Stay Healthy

Article
5/22/2020
Eating right, physical activity, adequate rest and taking care of our mental health not only improves overall health and wellness, but also makes us more resilient during COVID-19.

As we move toward a third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus has changed many of our daily routines in ways no one anticipated and that have become the new normal.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Health Readiness & Combat Support | Total Force Fitness

Incidence of Sexually Transmitted Infections Before and After Insertion of an Intrauterine Device or Contraceptive Implant, Active Component Service Women, U.S. Armed Forces, 2014–2019

Article
3/1/2020
A copper intrauterine device.

Recommended Content:

Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Women's Health

Female Infertility, Active Component Service Women, U.S. Armed Forces, 2013–2018

Article
6/1/2019
Human egg cell

As in prior years, mental health disorders, pregnancy-related conditions, and injury/poisoning accounted for the majority (59.8%) of all hospitalizations among active component service members in 2018. However, the hospitalization rate for all causes was the lowest rate in the past 10 years.

Recommended Content:

Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Women's Health
<< < ... 6 7 > >> 
Showing results 91 - 105 Page 7 of 7
Refine your search
Last Updated: August 03, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery