Family building is a priority for many veterans returning from their service overseas. Pelvic, spinal cord, and genitourinary injuries, however, can prevent injured war vets from being able to conceive. Oftentimes these wounds cause damage that lead to ejaculatory problems, erectile dysfunction, and in women with shrapnel injuries, damage to the pelvis and fallopian tubes (source: Washington Post).
At New Hope, we fully support the bill up for proposal in the Senate right now, which will add fertility care services to the VA's medical benefits package. For men and women who have served and are trying their best to introduce a sense of normalcy back into their lives, it only makes sense that those injured continue to receive the support they need -- mentally and physically -- as they come home and rebuild their personal and family lives.
While the VA already covers some assisted reproduction services, like IUI (artificial insemination), the new proposal would add coverage for IVF, which yields a greater success rate compared to other treatments. It would also include coverage to compensate for the partners' side of IVF treatment, since the procedure involves both parties -- sperm extraction, egg retrieval, embryo creation, and implantation.
We look forward to Veterans getting the care they deserve as they return home and work to build a family life. At the end of the day, paying to achieve the dream of parenthood should be the least of an injured vet's concerns as he or she comes back home.