HSR&D Citation Abstract
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Infertility Services for Veterans Enrolled in Veterans Health Administration Care.
Kroll-Desrosiers A, Copeland LA, Mengeling MA, Mattocks KM. Infertility Services for Veterans Enrolled in Veterans Health Administration Care. Journal of general internal medicine. 2023 Aug 1; 38(10):2347-2353.
Infertility care is provided to Veterans through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) medical benefits package and includes infertility evaluation and many infertility treatments.
Our objective was to examine the incidence and prevalence of infertility diagnoses and the receipt of infertility healthcare among Veterans using Veterans Health Administration (VHA) healthcare from 2018 to 2020.
Veterans using the VHA and diagnosed with infertility during October 2017-September 2020 (FY18-20) were identified in VHA administrative data and through VA-purchased care (i.e., community care) claims. Infertility was categorized among men as azoospermia, oligospermia, and other and unspecified male infertility, and among women as anovulation, infertility of tubal origin, infertility of uterine origin, and other and unspecified female infertility using diagnosis and procedure codes (ICD-10, CPT).
A total of 17,216 Veterans had at least one VHA infertility diagnosis in FY18, FY19, or FY20, including 8766 male Veterans and 8450 female Veterans. Incident diagnoses of infertility were observed in 7192 male Veterans (10.8/10,000 person (p)-years) and 5563 female Veterans (93.6/10,000 p-years). A large proportion of Veterans who were diagnosed with infertility received an infertility-related procedure in the year of their incident diagnosis (males: 74.7, 75.3, 65.0%, FY18-20 respectively; females: 80.9, 80.8, 72.9%, FY18-20 respectively).
In comparison to a recent study of active duty servicemembers, we found a lower rate of infertility among Veteran men and a higher rate among Veteran women. Further work is needed to investigate military exposures and circumstances that may lead to infertility. Given the rates of infertility among Veterans and active duty servicemembers, enhancing communications between Department of Defense and VHA systems regarding sources of and treatment for infertility is essential to help more men and women benefit from infertility care during military service or as Veterans.