Infertility is unfortunately a far-too-common sacrifice for our military service members and veterans.

Research suggests military personnel and veterans are at higher risk for infertility.

  • A 2017 study showed that the average sperm count and semen volume in U.S. veterans appear to be lower than average levels in the general population, with veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or major depression especially affected.

Sperm count statistics for veterans

  • 2014 study found that veterans of the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq appear to be seeking fertility evaluation and treatment at a rate higher than both non-deployed military personnel as well as the general U.S. population.
  • And a 2015 study found that a very small percentage (~2%) of ~70,000 female service members discharged between 2001 – 2010 received an infertility diagnosis through the Veterans Administration (VA) hospital system, and nearly half of those who received fertility treatment did so through non-VA providers.

There are several factors likely contributing to the rise in fertility issues amongst the Armed Forces, but one of the primary contributors is the increased threat of injuries from improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

“Because of injuries, especially blast injuries from improvised explosive devices, many veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts have tragically lost the ability to have children. After they transition out of the military, affected veterans are left without the basic ability to start a family and move on with their lives.” – Jeremy Chwat, Wounded Warrior Project Chief Strategy Officer, from 2017.

Fertility treatment options for veterans are narrow, but getting better.

In 2016, thanks to huge efforts from fertility advocacy groups including Resolve and the Wounded Warrior Project, Congress passed a temporary bill that allows the U.S. Veterans Administration (VA) to cover fertility treatment, including in vitro fertilization, for veterans who have sustained service-related injuries impairing their ability to reproduce.

While a great start, the VA’s benefits still don’t apply to military personnel and veterans without a service-related reproductive injury.  Soldiers’ exposure to extreme climates, chemical agents, and high stress are all factors that can contribute to increased risk of infertility but are not covered. And the high out-of-pocket expense often puts fertility treatment out of reach for many service members and their families seeking to start a family.  See our page comparing testing and treatment option costs here.

Trak’s Military and Veterans Discount Program Seeks to Help Those Trying to Get Pregnant

Trak Military Discount PromoAs part of our mission to help change the face of men’s reproductive health, Trak proudly offers a 20% off Military Discount Program for all active, veteran, retired, and reservist U.S. military personnel. Eligible customers can simply verify their credentials at checkout to automatically apply the discount.

“We’re incredibly proud that Trak has already helped many veterans and their partners start their families, and we are honored to further salute the Armed Forces and extend our gratitude and assistance through our military discount program. To those brave men and women sacrificing your lives to ensure our continued freedom, we thank you, and hope that we can be helpful when the time comes to build and grow your family.” – Karen Drexler, Trak CEO