Office of Research & Development

VA R&D Women's Health

Country music star and Veteran Stephen Cochran, and Veteran Shanda Taylor-Boyd tell a story of VA Research turning hope into reality through discovery, innovation, and advancement. This is the first in an ongoing series of personal testimony of how VA Research helps improve Veterans' lives. (4:31 min)

About VA Women's Health Research

The recent expansion of women in the military has changed the face of the veteran population. In anticipation of the growing number of women Veterans and recognition of their special healthcare needs, VA developed a comprehensive women's health research agenda to inform VA healthcare policy and services and ensure accessible, quality care for women Veterans.

With a broad focus on biomedical, clinical, rehabilitation, and health services research, this agenda positions VA as a national leader in women's health research and, in particular, in establishing the knowledge and evidence needed to improve the health and healthcare of women veterans.

Recent research has focused on such areas as the organization and delivery of VA healthcare services to women veterans; access and quality of care; special healthcare needs related to military deployment or the prevalence of co-morbid conditions; gender disparities in care; and effective treatments in women veterans for conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder. VA's continually expanding body of research is providing critical insight into the development of improved access, treatment, and care for the approximately 1.7 million* women veterans in the US. Here are just a few examples of the research being conducted in the area of women veterans' health:

Recent Studies

Women's Health Research Conference

VA Researchers and other women's health experts recently gathered in Arlington, Virginia, with one goal in mind—improving the lives of woman Veterans through research.

Click to view Windows Media video
(2:53 min - Windows Media)

Select presentations and slides from the conference are available for viewing.

Women in the Military

Women historically have served in the military and they continue to do so in growing numbers today. Women currently represent about 14 percent of active duty forces and 20 percent of new military recruits. Of the 27 million veterans in the US, women comprise approximately 2 million—a number projected to increase to 10 percent by the year 2010.

*Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2006, Table 510


Learn More

If you're a VA researcher, and would like to participate in the conversation about VA and women's health research, subscribe to our listserv. You can also learn more about what's new by using the links and resources below.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.