Unintended Pregnancy More Common Among Military Women
The researcher behind a recent study that found military women have a higher rate of unintended pregnancy is calling for review of how the military provides reproductive care for its female members.
Dr. Vinita Goyal of Women & Infants Hospital at Brown University says women in the military use contraception at a much lower rate than the general population, leading to a higher rate of unintended pregnancy:
"Because of its potentially high burden for military women as well as the impact on military operations, prevention of unintended pregnancy is one reproductive health issue of particular importance.<br><br>"For the women, who face barriers to early prenatal care and abortion services in the military, unwanted pregnancy restricts their career achievement potential and limits their earning capacity."
A 2005 Department of Defense survey found more than 16 percent of women in the military reported an unintended pregnancy within the previous year. That's compared to 7 percent in the general population.
Goyal is recommending health care providers who serve military women do a better job of education themselves and their patients about contraception:
"Understanding and addressing the needs of these women will give health care providers an opportunity to improve reproductive health care as well as pregnancy outcomes for this population."