Individual Care

Women Veterans

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Women veterans have unique needs, including barriers to quality healthcare, military sexual trauma, child care, financial instability, and more. The NYC Department of Veterans' Services (DVS) works to meet the unique challenges facing women veterans by connecting them to the appropriate service. DVS also works to empower women veterans seeking to start their businesses or upgrade their discharge status.

Connect to services by filling out the VetConnectNYC form:

Request Services on VetConnectNYC

See below for a list of services available for women veterans:

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Women Veterans Health Care

  • Mammogram/Breast Health
    • What services does VA provide for Breast Health?
      • Every VA facility has a Women Veterans Program Manager and Women's Health Primary Care Providers to ensure women Veterans have access to appropriate care and treatment. They will connect you with their clinical teams to coordinate all the services you may need.
    • Breast care resources available through VA include:
      • Breast ultrasounds and MRI
      • Breast biopsy and surgery
      • Genetic counseling and testing
      • Cancer diagnosis and treatment
    • The VA offers mammograms on-site at over 78 VA facilities, and for those women receiving care at sites without mammography, they offer screening at conveniently located community facilities. The VA also has mammogram coordinators who track women due for mammograms, follow-up on abnormal results, and help their patients navigate the breast cancer screening process.
    • How do you access services for Breast Health at the VA?
      • If you have concerns about your breast health, start by having a conversation with your VA primary care provider. They can get you set up with a mammogram or any other necessary screening. If you do not have a primary care provider, call the Women Veterans Program Manager at your local VA. All VA medical centers have Women Veterans Program Managers to help women Veterans access VA benefits and health care services. Find the VA medical center nearest you or call 1-877-222-8387. 
  • Maternity Care
    • VA provides maternity coverage and care coordination to help create a seamless maternity care experience.
    • What resources and services does the VA provide for maternity care?
      • VA covers a wide range of maternity care services throughout pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum. Maternity care services available through VA include:
        • Full physical exams and lab tests
        • Prenatal education and screening
        • Obstetrical ultrasounds
        • Genetic tests and specialty consults
        • Prescription drugs
        • Newborn care on the date of birth plus 7 days immediately after birth
        • Lactation support
        • Support and services in case of miscarriage or stillbirth
        • Social work and mental health services
        • Maternity Care Coordinators (MCC)
      • VA also covers nursing bras, nursing pads, breast/chest pumps, and maternity belts. Request these items through your MCC at least two weeks before your due date. You can get other supplies, such as lactation pads, human milk storage bags, and nipple cream through the VA Pharmacy.
      • VA benefits may not cover all services, including home deliveries, doulas, or experimental procedures. Your MCC can answer questions on coverage and connect you to additional resources.
    • Maternity Care Coordinators
      • Every VA offers maternity care coordination. VA Maternity Care Coordinators can answer questions you have about services and coverage through every stage of your pregnancy. Maternity Care Coordinators can help you:
        • Navigate health care services both inside and outside of VA
        • Access care for your other physical and mental health needs
        • Connect to community resources
        • Cope with pregnancy loss
        • Connect to care after delivery
        • Answer questions about billing
      • To find a VA Maternity Care Coordinator near you, contact your VA provider or local Women's Veteran Program Manager. If you are an LGBTQ+ Veteran and have questions about your eligibility for VA's maternity care services, please call the Women Veterans Call Center or contact the LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator at your nearest facility for more information.
  • Pap Test and Gynecologic Cancer
    • Gynecologic Cancer is any cancer that begins in your reproductive organs: the cervix, ovaries, uterus, vagina, and vulva. These cancers are more easily treated if detected early.
      • Types of Gynecolgic Cancer
        • Cervical cancer
          • Cervical cancer can be detected by screening. Screening can be performed through a Pap test, HPV testing, or both. The Pap test can show pre-cancerous cells that can be removed before the onset of cancer.
          • Women aged 21-29 should have a Pap test every three years. Women aged 30-65 have several options:
            1. A Pap test every three years
            2. A test for human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus that causes cervical cancer, every five years
            3. A Pap and HPV test together (called co-testing) every five years
          • Women 26 years old or younger may also get the HPV vaccine, which can prevent cervical cancer. Discuss the vaccine with your health care provider if you are older than 26 and are interested in the HPV vaccine.
        • Uterine cancer
          • Uterine cancer means cancer of the uterus. It may also be called endometrial cancer. It is the most common gynecologic cancer and the number of women who develop uterine cancer each year is rising. The reasons are unclear but appear to be linked to an increase in obesity, especially in older women. Black women are nearly twice as likely to die of uterine cancer as white women. The most common symptom of uterine cancer is abnormal bleeding. Abnormal bleeding includes bleeding after intercourse and any bleeding, even a small spot, in post-menopausal women. Women should see their health care provider about any type of abnormal bleeding.
        • Ovarian cancer
          • Ovarian cancer causes more deaths each year than any other gynecologic cancer. It occurs more often in older women and is treatable when caught early. The symptoms, which can be subtle, include abnormal bleeding, pelvic or back pain, bloating, feeling full quickly when eating, and a change in bathroom habits. If any of these last two weeks or longer, please talk with your health care provider.
          • Having certain genes may raise your risk for ovarian cancer. You may want to ask your health care provider about genetic testing if you have a family history of cancer.
        • Vaginal and Vulvar cancer
          • Cancers of the vagina or vulva are rare. Vaginal cancer is marked by pelvic pain, discharge or bleeding, or a change in bathroom habits. Vulvar cancer, which usually appears on the labia outside the vagina, often causes a sore and itching. (Other conditions, such as herpes, can also cause sores and itching.) The risk of both vaginal and vulvar cancers may be lessened with an HPV vaccine.
    • What services does VA provide for gynecologic cancer?

      • At VA, women can receive their Pap tests and HPV vaccines from their primary care provider. If your Pap test comes back abnormal, your provider will let you know the next steps for potential additional screening. If your provider determines you need to see a gynecologic specialist or an oncologist (cancer specialist), they can refer to you one at your VA medical center or at a health care facility in your community. These specialists will work with your primary care provider to develop a treatment and care plan for gynecologic cancer.

      • You may always request a specific gender of health care provider to examine and treat you, both at VA and if VA refers you to community care.
  • Menopause
    • Menopause is a normal hormonal and biological change in your life marked by your menstrual period stopping. Menopause is a gradual process that can take 3-5 years.
      • You have reached menopause when you have not had a menstrual period for 12 months in a row. Usually, menopause is natural, which means it happens on its own, and you don't need medical treatment unless your symptoms bother you.
      • The timing of menopause is different for each woman. The average age for women to have their last menstrual period is about 51, but it can happen at any time in your 40s or 50s. You often go through menopause at about the same age as your mother.
      • Some changes you may notice at the onset of menopause include:
        • Irregular menstrual periods
        • Vaginal dryness
        • Hot flashes
        • Night sweats
        • Sleep problems
        • Mood changes
        • Weight gain and slowed metabolism
        • Thinning hair and dry skin
        • Loss of breast fullness
    • What services does VA provide for menopause?
      • Usually, medical treatment is only needed if your symptoms bother you. A variety of medical and non-medical treatments for menopausal symptoms are available to you through VA.
      • These include:
        • Hormone patch that is worn on the skin
        • Hormone pills
        • Vaginal estrogen therapy (can help with vaginal dryness)
      • There are also some non-medical treatments for menopausal symptoms that you can try on your own to help ease hot flashes, mood changes, and irritability like:
        • Dressing in layers
        • Avoiding hot beverages
        • Avoiding drinking alcohol to excess or late at night
        • Practicing mindfulness and seeking other mental health support
        • Exercising regularly, if you need help, try the VA Move program
        • Eating a healthy and balanced diet
  • Birth Control
    • Birth control refers to methods a person can use to avoid unintended pregnancy. There are many forms of birth control to choose from.
      • Things to think about when choosing a birth control method include:
        • Future pregnancy plans, if any
        • Convenience
        • How effective the method is at preventing pregnancy
        • How often the method is taken or used
        • Possible side effects
        • Non-contraceptive benefits (such as fewer or lighter periods)
        • Expected menstrual changes
        • Privacy
        • Your medical health conditions and medications
      • What services does VA provide for birth control?
        • VA provides comprehensive contraception care services and offers a wide range of birth control options for Veterans. These include:
          • Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs): Contraceptive Implant, Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)
          • Hormonal Methods: Pill, Patch, Ring, Injection
          • Barrier Methods: Condoms, Sponges, Cervical Cap, Spermicides
          • Same-Day Emergency Contraception
          • Sterilization: Tubal Ligation, Bilateral Salpingectomy (removal of both fallopian tubes)
  • Abortion Services
    • The VA will provide access to abortion counseling and — in certain cases — abortions to pregnant Veterans and VA beneficiaries. Specifically, VA will provide access to abortions when the life or health of the pregnant Veteran would be endangered if the pregnancy were carried to term, or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. VA beneficiaries enrolled in CHAMPVA will also have access to this care. The VA will also continue to provide access to a full range of reproductive health services, including fertility services, contraceptives including emergency contraceptives, life-saving treatment related to pregnancy, and much more. For information about all reproductive health services at VA, visit

If you have questions you can call, text, or chat online with the Women Veterans Call Center (WVCC) at 855-829-6636 to get help and find available resources and services in your area. Additionally you can reach out to Jennifer Friedberg (for NY Harbor) at (212) 951-3314 or Jade Williams (for the Bronx) at (718) 584-9000 Ext. 3778.

Infertility and IVF

  • Infertility
    • Infertility is when a couple does not become pregnant after 12 months of trying. Some couples should seek infertility evaluation earlier than 12 months.
    • What infertility services are available at VA?
      • Infertility care is available either at your local VA medical facility or through referral to health care providers in your community. Below are examples of infertility services covered by VA.
      • Examples of Infertility Services for All Female Veterans:
        • Infertility assessments and counseling
        • Laboratory testing
        • Imaging services such as ultrasounds and X-rays
        • Hormonal therapies
        • Surgical correction
        • Genetic counseling and testing
        • Fertility medications
        • Artificial and intrauterine insemination
        • Tubal ligation reversal
      • Examples of Infertility Services for All Male Veterans:
        • Infertility assessments and counseling
        • Laboratory testing
        • Imaging services such as ultrasounds and X-rays
        • Hormonal therapies
        • Surgical correction
        • Genetic counseling and testing
        • Vasectomy reversal
        • Sperm retrieval techniques (including sperm washing for intrauterine insemination)
    • Who is Eligible for VA Infertility Services?
      • The VA provides infertility evaluation, management, and treatment services to Veterans who are enrolled and are eligible for VA health care. All enrolled and eligible Veterans may be provided with infertility services regardless of service connection, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, relationship, or marital status.
  • In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
    • IVF is the process of fertilization that involves manually fertilizing an egg with a sperm outside of the body and then transferring the fertilized egg, or embryo, to the uterus.
    • Who is Eligible for VA IVF Services?
      • Under recent law, IVF is covered for some Veterans and their spouses. Eligibility is determined by a service-connected disability and clinical judgment of the health care provider. The eligibility requirements are as follows:
        • The Veteran must be legally married.
        • The Veteran must have service-connected condition causing infertility.
        • The Veteran or spouse must have an intact uterus and at least one functioning ovary.
        • The Veteran or spouse must be able to produce sperm.
        • Surrogacy, as well as donated sperm or eggs, are not covered benefits.

If you have questions you can call, text, or chat online with the Women Veterans Call Center (WVCC) at 855-829-6636 to get help and find available resources and services in your area. Additionally you can reach out to Jennifer Friedberg (for NY Harbor) at (212) 951-3314 or Jade Williams (for the Bronx) at (718) 584-9000 Ext. 3778.

  • Veterans’ In Vitro Initiative (Bob Woodruff Foundation)
    • The Veterans In-Vitro InitiAtive (VIVA) complements fertility treatment services provided by the government to ensure military service does not preclude veterans from having families.
    • Provide a maximum of $5000 grant to veterans who have a service-connected disability affecting their fertility. We will also provide as many possible resources to veterans.

Support for Survivors of Domestic Violence

  • VA-Based Resources
  • Intimate Partner Violence
    • Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a specific type of domestic violence that refers to physical, verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse, as well as stalking, between intimate partners.
    • An intimate partner can include anyone with whom an indiviudal has had an intimate relationship - including current or former spouses; boyfriends or girlfriends; and romantic, dating, or sexual partners. Intimate partners may or may not be sexually intimate or live together.
    • IPV occurs in both heterosexual and same-sex relationships and can affect anyone of any age, including older adults.
    • IPV can happen to anyone no matter your age, income, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, or disability.
    • Some examples of IPV may include:
      • Name calling or saying you are "crazy" or "worthless"
      • Controlling your money or spending
      • Keeping you from friends and family
      • Controlling where you go/what you wear
      • Embarrassing you in front of others to prove a point
      • Threatening to harm you, your loved ones, or pets
    • If you would like more information about IPV or to seek help for yourself or someone you know, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or alternatively call or email Maritza Villacis at 718-836-6600 (Ext. 3749),
  • Military Sexual Trauma
    • Military Sexual Trauma (MST) includes any sexual activity during military service in which you were involved against your will or when you were unable to say "no," such as:
      • Being pressured into sexual activities
      • Sexual contact or activities without your consent (i.e. while asleep or intoxicated)
      • Being physically forced to have sex
      • Unwanted sexual touching or grabbing, or unwanted sexual advances
      • Comments about your body or sexual activities you found threatening
    • MST can happen while on or off duty, or on or off base. Perpetrators (the people who commit) of MST can be anyone—men or women, military personnel or civilians, superiors or subordinates in the chain of command, strangers, friends, or intimate partners.
    • Veterans of all gender identities, racial and ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, ages, branches, and eras of service have experienced MST. Experiences of MST are most common among women Veterans. About 1 in 3 women Veterans tell their VA health care provider they experienced sexual harassment or assault while in the military.
    • If you would like more information about MST or to seek help for yourself or someone you know, you can call Sheila Keezer 347-205-1709, Elaine Lavin Psy.D. 347-751-8842, or Shalini Sehgal, Psy.D. 718-836-6600 (Ext. 6479)

  • Sexual Assault
    • Sexual Assault is any type of sexual activity that occurs without the clear permission of a person involved.
    • This may include acts such as unwanted touching, grabbing, oral sex, anal sex, sexual penetration with an object, or being made to perform sexual acts and/or sexual intercourse. Experiencing sexual assault can impact an individual's physical and mental health in many ways.
    • People of all gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and physical sizes, appearances, and abilities have experienced sexual assault. Many individuals choose not to report being sexually assaulted because they may: 
      • Want to avoid thinking about the experience
      • Feel shame or blame themselves
      • Fear that they will not be believed or that they will be blamed by others
      • Fear retaliation for reporting the assault

    • If you would like more information about Sexual Assault or to seek help for yourself or someone you know, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or alternatively call or email Maritza Villacis at 718-836-6600 (Ext. 3749),
  • City-Based Resources
  • Gender-Based Violence
    • Gender-based violence is a general term used to capture any type of violence that is rooted in exploiting unequal power relationships between genders. This can include gender norms and role expectations specific to a society as well as situational power imbalances and inequities. Gender-based violence can impact anyone, and can include intimate partner and family violence, elder abuse, sexual violence, stalking and human trafficking.
  • Elder Abuse
    • Elder abuse is any action that causes harm or distress to an older person. Elder abuse occurs within the context of trusting familial or care-taking relationships, and can include neglect as well as threats or the actual use of physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, psychological, or financial abuse. "Elder" or "older adult" typically refers to individuals aged 60+. Sexual violence is any action that results in the loss or removal of sexual autonomy for a person. Sexual violence includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, sex trafficking, non-consensual distribution of intimate images, and any other non-consensual, forced, or drug-facilitated sexual action.
  • Stalking
    • Stalking is a pattern of harassing behavior or course of conduct directed at a specific person that would place that person in reasonable fear. Stalking behaviors include, but are not limited to, monitoring someone's activities, following someone, leaving unwanted gifts and notes, and making repeated phone calls to someone and/or their family, friends, or workplace.
    • For more information about the Mayor's Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence, you can visit their website. For immediate assistance, you can call the City's 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-621-4673 or if you would like to reach out to your borough's NYC Family Justice Center, please call one of the following numbers:
      • Bronx   718-508-1220
      • Brooklyn   718-250-5113
      • Manhattan   212-602-2800
      • Queens   718-575-4545
      • Staten Island   718-697-4300
  • Domestic Violence
    • Domestic violence is an umbrella term that encompasses both Intimate Partner Violence and Family Violence.
    • Intimate Partner Violence
      • Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a pattern of coercive and abusive behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship. This includes people with any current or former romantic involvement, for example dating, previously dating, on again/off again, married, divorced, living together or apart. Intimate partner violence can occur between people of any gender identity or sexual orientation, and can include manipulation, threats, or the actual use of physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, psychological, or financial abuse.
    • Family Violence
      • Family Violence is any abusive behavior that occurs between members of a family or household who are not involved in a romantic relationship. This includes chosen family as well as people related by blood, marriage, foster care, adoption or any other familial relationships. Family violence can include threats or the actual use of physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, psychological, or financial abuse.
    • If you would like more information about Domestic Violence or to seek help for yourself or someone you know, you can call the City's 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-621-4673

  • According to the VA, women veterans are more likely to experience Intimate Partner Violence than civilian women. Compounding this issue is the recently reported rise of domestic abuse cases worldwide due to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. If you are experiencing domestic abuse, please call NYC's 24-hour support hotline at 800-621-4673. Call 911 for emergencies. For additional services visit NYC Hope. New York State also operates a domestic violence hotline that you can contact at 800-942-6906.

Certify Your Business

Grow your veteran-owned business by becoming NYC certified! 75% of certified businesses have won contracts with City agencies. Contact to learn if your business is eligible to be certified as a Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE).
Learn more about certifying your business

Discharge Upgrade Assistance

If you believe your discharge status is connected to sexual assault or harassment you experienced during your military service, DVS can refer you to discharge upgrade assistance services.
Learn more about discharge upgrade assistance

The Health of Women Veterans Podcast Series

The SITREP NYC podcast series, "The Health of Women Veterans", spotlights women veterans who are working to overcome service-related trauma. Listen as women veterans tell stories of illness, combat injury, PTSD, and perseverance:

  • Episode 1: Motherhood in the Military
    Women veterans discuss parenthood in the military and share stories of family separation and loss. This episode features stories from Cyrene Renee, United States Air Force veteran and author of Call Me Queen, and Martine Nivose, United States Navy Reserve veteran.
  • Episode 2: Show No Weakness
    What cultural factors prevent women in the military from reporting illness and injury? This episode features stories from Cyrene Renee, United States Air Force veteran, and Valentina Patino, United States Army ROTC veteran.
  • Episode 3: Life After a Combat Injury
    Women veterans discuss their combat injuries and how they worked to create a new life after service. This episode features stories from Aliyah Hunter, United States Air Army veteran, and Elana Duffy, United States Army veteran.
  • Episode 4: PTSD, MST, and the Obstacles to Healing
    This episode explores the military experiences that impact the mental health of women veterans and the challenges they face when attempting to address these issues. This episode features stories from Aliyah Hunter, United States Air Army veteran, and Cyrene Renee, United States Air Force veteran and author of Call Me Queen. The veterans featured discuss post-traumatic stress disorder and military sexual trauma. Please be advised.