Impact of Oral Ovulatory Induction Medications Among Female Military Members and Military Beneficiaries

Ji Won Kim, Benjamin E. Grounds, Kelsey C. Van Bokkem, Sorana Raiciulescu, Trimble L. Spitzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Twelve percent of reproductive aged females in the United States have utilized fertility services, and it is estimated that 25% of infertility patients have ovulatory dysfunction. Clomiphene and letrozole are currently first-line treatment options for ovulatory dysfunction. These are both disqualifying medications in the U.S. Navy and Air Force for duties that involve flying. These medication restrictions could reduce the likelihood of female aviators seeking infertility treatment. This pilot study seeks to evaluate the severity of common side effects in order to provide recommendations to the current aeromedical guidelines. Materials and Methods: An anonymous survey was provided to all active duty and dependent patients who presented to the infertility clinic at a single military medical center for a mid-cycle scan from February 2021 to February 2022. The survey included demographic, treatment cycle, medication type, medication dose, and the presence and severity of common adverse reactions. The provider additionally recorded the number of dominant follicles that were noted at the time of ultrasound. The Kruskal–Wallis test was used to analyze the severity of adverse effects, and chi-square analysis was used to compare the difference in symptoms from previous cycles. Results: A total of 569 surveys were collected. Of the participants, 45.4% were military members and 3.5% worked in the field of aviation. Letrozole was prescribed to 88.7% of the patients. Less than 3% reported severe or debilitating side effects. There was no difference in presence or severity when comparing the cycle number. Conclusions: The majority of side effects for oral ovulation induction medications were described as slight or mild. Therefore, this study provides evidence-based data of severity side effects that could be used to guide the waiver process and improve readiness for female aviators in the military.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E2530-E2535
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes


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