VA announces expansion in care for vets who want IVF

12 March 2024- The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it will soon be able to provide in vitro fertilization (IVF) to eligible unmarried Veterans and eligible Veterans in same-sex marriages. VA will also be able to provide IVF to Veterans using donated sperm or eggs – a critical step toward helping Veterans who are not able to produce their own sperm or eggs due to service-connected injuries and health conditions.

Under existing law, all Veterans who receive IVF from VA must be unable to procreate without the use of fertility treatment due to a health condition caused by their military service. Before today’s expansion of care, VA was only allowed to provide IVF services to Veterans who were legally married and – within that relationship – able to produce their own gametes (both eggs and sperm). Under this expansion of care, VA will offer IVF benefits to qualifying Veterans regardless of marital status and – for the first time – allow the use of donor eggs, sperm, and embryos.

VA is taking immediate steps to implement this policy and expects to be ready to deliver this care to Veterans nationwide in the coming weeks.

“Raising a family is a wonderful thing, and I’m proud that VA will soon help more Veterans have that opportunity,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “This expansion of care has long been a priority for us, and we are working urgently to make sure that eligible unmarried Veterans, Veterans in same-sex marriages, and Veterans who need donors will have access to IVF in every part of the country as soon as possible.”

All Veterans enrolled in VA health care are eligible for a wide range of reproductive health services at VA – including maternity care, gynecology care, access to contraceptives, cervical cancer screening, menopause care, and more. All enrolled Veterans are also eligible for fertility evaluation, management and select treatment for fertility conditions.

VA can also cover up to $2000 of adoption expenses for Veterans who have a service-connected disability that causes infertility. Under current law, however, VA is not authorized to cover surrogacy for any Veterans.

VA has advocated for this IVF expansion for years, including submitting repeated legislative proposals to expand IVF services at VA.

This expansion of care is a part of VA’s continuing efforts to support Veterans who are seeking to grow their families. Last year, VA also expanded access to maternity care coordinators to 12 months post-partum. These coordinators help Veterans navigate health care inside and outside of VA, connect Veterans with care after delivery, ensure access to follow-up screenings, and more. This is particularly critical at a time when pregnancies in women Veterans using VA care have increased by more than 80% since 2014, from 6,950 pregnancies in 2014 to 12,524 in 2022.

For more information about reproductive health at VA, visit VA.gov/ReproductiveHealth. For more information about IVF at VA, visit here.