In the line of service, some soldiers face injuries or other issues that increase their chances of infertility. That's why IVF1 offers two special fertility programs for soldiers and vets: Soldier Cryo and Soldier Care. Below, we will explore how military service can impact fertility, as well as what fertility services may be of use to soldiers and vets.
Service and Fertility
Soldiers in combat zones may sustain pelvic injuries or chemical exposure that renders them infertile when they return from active duty. Although many soldiers make it through their service without developing such issues, active duty service does place soldiers at a higher than average risk of developing such issues. For that reason, soldiers may choose to preserve their fertility prior to deploying, and may seek IVF and other fertility services after returning.
Fertility Preservation Options
The right fertility preservation option for you depends on your preferences, gender, and relationship status. The three main forms of fertility preservation are
- Sperm freezing - Men may freeze several specimens of sperm, to be used in intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) when they are ready to start a family. Sperm freezing is a very cost-effective procedure.
- Embryo freezing - For women who are married or in long-term relationships, embryo freezing is one choice. During this procedure, the woman's ovaries are stimulated to produce more eggs than usual, and the eggs are fertilized in IVF. The resulting embryos are frozen, and can be thawed and transferred to the uterus when the woman is ready to get pregnant.
- Egg freezing - Egg freezing is an option for women who are not in a relationship with someone they would like to have children with, or for whom embryo freezing is not viable for other reasons. During this procedure, the woman's ovaries are stimulated to produce extra egg follicles, the eggs are removed and are then frozen. When the woman is ready to get pregnant, the eggs are thawed, and each egg is injected with a single sperm in a procedure called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). The resulting embryos can then be transferred to the uterus.
Fertility preservation does not guarantee that you will be able to get pregnant; if all of the eggs survive and all of the embryos take, it is still possible that someone struggling with infertility will not be able to get pregnant. However, fertility preservation does maximize a person's chances of being able to get pregnant later on, especially if the preservation is done while the person is still younger and free from major medical or reproductive problems.
Special Fertility Programs for Soldiers and Vets
Soldier Cryo is IVF1's fertility preservation program. We offer free fertility preservation to military members who are residents of Naperville and who are being deployed to active duty overseas. We cover the cost of egg freezing for women and the cost of sperm freezing for men. This includes the cost of storage for the duration of the tour of duty.
Soldier Care is the second of our special fertility programs for soldiers and vets, offering help to soldiers and veterans who require fertility services. Insurance coverage for IVF can be difficult to obtain from the Defense Department. We offer discounts on certain fertility procedures. We also partner with EMD Serono's Compassionate Corp Program to offer free fertility medication for qualified women who are going through IVF. If you are a soldier or vet and are interested in one of our fertility programs, Dr. Randy Morris would be happy to hear from you. To learn more about special fertility programs for soldiers and vets, please click below and enter your information or call IVF1 at (630) 357-6540.