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Women Veterans Health Care

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Maternity Care

VA is supportive of women Veterans deciding when motherhood is right for them. Whether women Veterans are ready to start or expand their family or interested in preventing pregnancy, VA offers a full range of services for women Veterans to support their reproductive goals.

Are you ready to start or expand your family?

Women Veterans deserve the best care anywhere, and they can receive all of their pregnancy care at VA. A planned pregnancy is a healthier pregnancy, so talk to your provider today if you want to become pregnant. VA provides prenatal and preconception (pre-pregnancy) care, maternity care services and 7 days of newborn care for women Veterans. Choose VA for your maternity care services.

To learn more about preconception care and preparing for pregnancy, please visit the Healthy Pregnancy page.
On this site, you will find a healthy checklist, reproductive life plan and other resources for your pregnancy.

Additional Resources for Pregnancy

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Show Your Love Campaign*

Are you having a difficult time getting pregnant?

VA understands that some women Veterans may need assistance getting pregnant. VA offers infertility services including patient counseling, infertility assessment, and some infertility treatment. These services can guide women through this process, help women Veterans with infertility and provide emotional support.

Do you not want to become pregnant?

VA knows that some women Veterans want to prevent pregnancy….at least for now. VA offers a wide-variety of birth control options including implants, intrauterine devices (IUDs), shots, pills and barrier methods. Women Veterans who are interested in preventing pregnancy should talk to their VA provider to determine the best birth control option for their lifestyle. If your contraception fails or you have unprotected intercourse, VA offers emergency contraception options to reduce your risk for an unplanned pregnancy.

Things to think about when choosing a birth control method include: future pregnancy plans, your relationship or partner status, and your general medical health. It is important to tell your provider about your medical history, as certain conditions or medications may make some birth control methods better options than others. Some birth control methods (contraceptives) offer other health benefits in addition to pregnancy prevention and planning. Certain birth control methods can help you have a regular menstrual cycle, reduce menstrual flow, reduce acne, reduce cramps, or lower your risk of ovarian cancer.

Type of Contraception
Pregnancies among 100 women in 1 year
Facts
Sterilization
  • Tubal ligation
  • Tubal implant
  • Vasectomy (for male partner)

Less than 1

Sterilization procedures are permanent. Only choose sterilization when you are certain that you do not want another pregnancy now or in the future.

IUD
  • Copper-T IUD
  • LnG progesterone IUD

1


Less than 1

Inserted by a provider in the office. Highly effective and good for 10 (copper T) or 5 years (LnG). Have removed when ready for pregnancy.

Progesterone implant
Less than 1

One soft rod placed under skin of upper arm by a provider in the office. Good for 3 years. Have removed when ready for pregnancy.

Progesterone shot
1

Provider gives shot once every 3 months. Return to regular periods can take a long time. Choose a different method if you are planning pregnancy in the next 1-2 years.

Hormone methods with estrogen and progesterone
(pill, patch ring)
5

Take a pill once a day at the same time OR place a patch once
a week on your skin OR place a soft silicone ring in the vagina once a month and remove after 3 weeks.,All require a prescription from your provider.

Barrier methods
  • Diaphragm
  • Cervical cap*‡
  • Sponge‡
  • Female condom
  • Male condom
  • Spermicides

  • 15
  • 17-23
  • 6-32
  • 20

  • 11-16
  • 30

Barrier methods are the least effective at preventing pregnancy. To work, they have to be used with every act of sexual intercourse. Using two barrier methods together (like a condom with a diaphragm or sponge) provides better pregnancy protection.

*Must be used with spermicide and must be left in place for 6 hours after sex. ‡With these methods, higher rates of pregnancy occur in women who have had a baby before.
For More Information About Birth Control:

FDA Birth Control Guide*

Additional Resources for Pregnancy Planning:


Health Awareness Campaigns: Reproductive Health 2014 Poster
Dimensions: 11x17", (862 KB, PDF) 8.5x11", (788 KB, PDF)
16:9", (918 KB, PDF)

Thumbnail of Healthy Awareness Poster: Reproductive Health 2014

Health Awareness Campaigns: Reproductive Health Version2
Dimensions: 11x17'', (647 KB, PDF) 8.5x11", (578 KB, PDF)


Thumbnail of Healthy Awareness Poster: Reproductive Health 2014 with blank space

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*By clicking on these links, you will leave the Department of Veterans Affairs Web site.
†VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked Web site.