Skip to main content
Contraceptive Provision in the VA Healthcare System to Women Who Report Military Sexual Trauma
Women’s Health Research Faculty Publications
  • Vinita Goyal, Women and Infants' Hospital
  • Kristin M Mattocks, University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester
  • Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, University of Pittsburgh - Main Campus
  • Sonya Borrero, University of Pittsburgh - Main Campus
  • Melissa Skanderson, Yale University
  • Laurie Zephyrin, Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Cynthia Brandt, Yale University
  • Sally Haskell, Yale University
UMMS Affiliation
Department of Quantitative Health Sciences
Publication Date
Document Type

Abstract Background: Women Veterans who suffered military sexual trauma (MST) may be at high risk for unintended pregnancy and benefit from contraceptive services. The objective of this study is to compare documented provision of contraceptives to women Veterans using the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health system who report or deny MST. Methods: This retrospective cohort study included women Veterans aged 18-45 years who served in Operation Enduring or Iraqi Freedom and had at least one visit to a VA medical center between 2002 and 2010. Data were obtained from VA administrative and clinical databases. Chi-squared tests and logistic regression were conducted to evaluate the association between MST, ascertained by routine clinical screening, and first documented receipt of hormonal or long-acting contraception. Results: Of 68,466 women Veterans, 13% reported, 59% denied and 28% had missing data for the MST screen. Among the entire study cohort, 30% of women had documented receipt of a contraceptive method. Women reporting MST were significantly more likely than those denying MST to receive a method of contraception (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.12, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.07-1.18) including an intrauterine device (odds ratio [OR] 1.29, 95% CI 1.17-1.41) or contraceptive injection (OR 1.17, 95% CI 1.05-1.29). Women who were younger, unmarried, seen at a women's health clinic, or who had more than one visit were more likely to receive contraception. Conclusions: A minority of women Veterans of reproductive age receive contraceptive services from the VA. Women Veterans who report MST, and particularly those who seek care at VA women's health clinics, are more likely to receive contraception.

DOI of Published Version
J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2014 May 2. Link to article on publisher's site
Related Resources
Link to Article in PubMed
PubMed ID
Citation Information
Vinita Goyal, Kristin M Mattocks, Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, Sonya Borrero, et al.. "Contraceptive Provision in the VA Healthcare System to Women Who Report Military Sexual Trauma" (2014) ISSN: 1540-9996 (Linking)
Available at: