What is on the “required” list? The monthly pill (in its various chemical formulations) and the weekly patch (estradiol). Condoms aren’t on the list, but they are handed out at some treatment facilities, says Katy Otto at SWAN.
Ensuring that medications are available to combat soldiers is difficult. But the military has succeeded in providing a variety of vital medications—including insulin, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, antipsychotics and a host of other drugs—to combat soldiers, many of whom rely on these medications to maintain a quality of life necessary to carry out complicated missions that often involve life-or-death decisions.
Adding longer-acting contraceptives to the Formulary would drastically improve servicewomen’s health, Grindlay notes, because it ensures that women have coverage that is discreet and dependable. “Servicewomen should either be able to get longer-acting birth control or they must be assured access to refills—that’s critical,” she says.