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Katon J, Cypel Y, Raza M, Zephyrin L, Reiber G, Yano EM, Barth S, Schneiderman A. Self-reported infertility among male and female veterans serving during Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom. Journal of women's health (2002). 2014 Feb 1; 23(2):175-83.
BACKGROUND: Infertility is associated with psychosocial distress and is a growing public health concern. Our objective was to report the prevalence of lifetime history of infertility among men and women Veterans. METHODS: We used data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Health Study for a New Generation of U.S. Veterans, a nationally representative survey of Veterans serving during Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF). The primary dependent variables were self-reported lifetime history of infertility among Veterans and their partners, defined as trying unsuccessfully to become pregnant for at least 12 months, and seeking medical help for infertility. Multiple logistic regression was used to determine whether gender was associated with lifetime history of infertility or seeking medical help for infertility, after adjusting for sociodemographic and military characteristics. All analyses were weighted to account for the complex survey design and nonresponse. RESULTS: Among the 20,370 Veterans (16,056 men; 4,314 women) in our final analytic sample, the prevalence of lifetime history of infertility was 15.8% for women and 13.8% for men. After adjusting for age, ever married, education, race/ethnicity, component, branch of service, and deployment to OEF/OIF, compared with men, women Veterans had similar odds of lifetime history of infertility (odds ratio [OR] 1.07; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.94, 1.20), but increased odds of seeking medical help for infertility (OR 1.35; 95% CI 1.06, 1.72). CONCLUSIONS: Women Veterans are more likely than their male counterparts to seek care for infertility, and given their increasing numbers, the demand for infertility evaluation and care within Veterans' Affairs may increase.