Female soldier's gynecologic healthcare in Operation Iraqi freedom: A survey of camps with echelon facilties

Peter E. Nielsen, Christopher S. Murphy, Jodi Schulz, Shad H. Deering, Vu Truong, Tamarin Mccartin, Jeffrey L. Demons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe female soldiers' predeployment gynecologic healthcare screening, common symptoms, and availability of gynecologic care during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Methods: A questionnaire distributed to U.S. military females presenting to outpatient facilities in level 3 echelon of care between August 2005 and March 2006. Results: Three-hundred ninety seven of 401 surveys (99%) were returned. Ten percent of deployed females (40) had no cervical cytology screening 1 year before deployment and 27% of the 399 required additional treatments for abnormal cervical cytology during deployment. Thirty-five percent reported a gynecologic problem and 44% received care at their base. Irregular bleeding was the most common gynecologic problem. Forty-four percent of women used some form of hormonal contraception; however. 43% changed methods because of unavailability. One-third of soldiers received predeployment menses regulation counseling, with 48% of those using continuous oral contraceptive pills for cycle control. Conclusion: Gaps remain in predeployment gynecologic screening and counseling. These critical predeployment medical evaluations must remain a priority for all female soldiers to ensure unit readiness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1172-1176
Number of pages5
JournalMilitary medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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