Since the end of June this year (2016) it looks like veterans will be entitled to fertility treatments through the Veterans Affairs Department. Earlier the VA was prohibited under a 1980s-era law from covering fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). Up until this spring, VA covered only fertility counseling and less advanced procedures such as intrauterine insemination (IUI). However, many veterans suffer from injuries caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) which frequently damage testicles’ sperm production and the fallopian tubes, and for these veterans IVF treatment would be the best or the only treatment option. Some IVF treatments have been covered for injured military personel but only if they have not been discharged before the diagnosis and treatment. The majority of veterans with reproductive injuries however, are not diagnosed until long after they come back from combat and by that time they are already discharged.
A measure was approved by the Senate in May and about one month later the U.S House of Representatives passed the bill allowing IVF treatments for wounded veterans. However, a part of this bill is dedicated to provide funds to fight the Zika virus and it is still not clear if this combined bill will finally pass. For everyone who have served their country and therefore suffered from reproductive injuries which will jeopardize their dreams and hopes of becoming parents, I truly hope they will finally receive all the medical and financial support they need to pursue their dreams of a family.
The picture is from http://www.birthdefects.org