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VA expands in vitro fertilization for Veterans

WASHINGTON — Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it will soon be able to provide in vitro fertilization (IVF) to eligible unmarried Veterans and eligible Veterans in same-sex marriages. Once implemented, VA will also be able to provide IVF to Veterans using donated sperm or eggs – a critical step toward helping Veterans who are not able to produce their own sperm or eggs due to military-related injuries and health conditions.

Under existing law, all Veterans who receive IVF from VA must be unable to procreate due to a health condition caused by their military service. Before today’s expansion of care, VA was only allowed to provide IVF services to Veterans who were legally married, able to produce their own gametes (both eggs and sperm), and able to carry a pregnancy as a couple. Under this expansion of care, VA will no longer require that eligible Veterans be married, able to carry a pregnancy as a couple, or be able to produce their own eggs, sperm, or embryos to receive IVF treatment.

VA is taking steps to immediately implement this policy and expects to be ready to deliver this care to Veterans nationwide in the coming weeks.

“Raising a family is a wonderful thing, and I’m proud that VA is helping more Veterans to have that opportunity,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “This expansion of care has long been a priority for us, and we are working urgently to make sure that unmarried Veterans and Veterans in same-sex marriages will have access to IVF in every part of the country as soon as possible.”

All Veterans enrolled in VA Health Care are eligible for a wide range of reproductive health services at VA – including maternity care, gynecology care, access to contraceptives, cervical cancer screening, menopause care, and more.  All enrolled Veterans are also eligible for fertility evaluation, management and select treatment for fertility conditions.

VA has advocated for this IVF expansion for years, including submitting repeated legislative proposals to expand IVF services at VA.

Today’s expansion of care is a part of VA’s comprehensive efforts to support Veterans who are seeking to grow their families. Last year, VA also expanded access to maternity care coordinators to 12 months post-partum. These coordinators help Veterans navigate health care inside and outside of VA, connect Veterans with care after delivery, ensure access to follow-up screenings, and more. This is particularly critical at a time when pregnancies in women Veterans using VA care have increased by more than 80% since 2014, from 6,950 pregnancies in 2014 to 12,524 in 2022.

For more information about reproductive health at VA, visit VA.gov/ReproductiveHealth. For more information about IVF at VA, visit here.

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