Infertility is a common problem for women in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 12% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 years old have difficulty conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to term. During National Infertility Awareness Week, April 21-29, take this opportunity to share these resources with Veterans you know.
VA infertility services are available to help eligible Veterans. Through VA health care, enrolled Veterans have access to many different types of fertility treatments, procedures and services including infertility counseling, laboratory blood testing, genetic counseling, sperm testing, ultrasounds, surgery, reversal of a vasectomy or tubal ligation, medication and other treatments.
Veterans with certain service-connected conditions that result in infertility, and their spouses, may be eligible for in vitro fertilization (IVF) or another form of assisted reproductive technology services. Coverage is determined case by case, based on an infertility evaluation at a VA medical center. Qualified Veterans or their spouses may be eligible for up to three IVF treatment cycles.
To qualify for the benefit:
- The Veteran must be legally married.
- The Veteran must have a service-connected condition causing infertility.
- The Veteran or spouse must have an intact uterus and at least one functioning ovary or own cryopreserved eggs.
- The Veteran or spouse must be able to produce sperm or own cryopreserved sperm.
This benefit does not cover surrogacy, donor eggs, donor sperm or donor embryos.
To receive treatment for infertility, Veterans enrolled in VA health care can take the following steps:
- Veterans can schedule an appointment with a VA provider (e.g., primary care provider, gynecologist or urologist) for an evaluation to identify the cause of infertility before determining eligibility for the benefit.
- Veterans can contact their local VA medical facility to schedule an evaluation.
- For questions regarding eligibility and services, contact the Women Veterans Call Center at (855) 829-6636.
- If the Veteran is eligible for assisted reproductive technology (ART)/IVF, VA will refer the Veteran (and spouse) to a Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) specialist in the community.
- The community provider works with the Veteran and spouse to perform any evaluations and tests to develop a treatment plan.
- Medical care is provided based on the treatment plan developed by the Veteran and community provider.
To learn more about IVF treatment and other services through VA, visit VHA’s Office of Community Care.
About the author: VHA’s Office of Community Care works closely with Veterans, their families, community providers, and VA staff to ensure Veterans can get care from community providers when needed..