Why is amenorrhea disqualifying?

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by sophietunion, Jul 18, 2016.

  1. sophietunion

    sophietunion New Member

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    I don't have this problem but I'm just curious: What's the big deal if a woman doesn't have a period and she wants to serve? I find it it rather sexist to put all these strict regulations on women wanting to get in when men don't have to worry about whether or not they have a period or breast problems or irregular periods, etc etc. How does the absence of a woman's periods have anything to do with her not doing well in a career of military service???
     
  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    There are physical conditions unique to men that are disqualifying, just as there are ones that only apply to women, for purely anatomical reasons, not misogynistic ones in the case of women.

    The rationale behind the list of DQ conditions is, to put it very simply, is that military life demands, at the service intake point, people who are in the best health possible, with very little "broken" about them, so as not to endanger the person or those with whom they are serving in an area with limited or no advanced medical support. The needs of the service will come first. That means minimizing the chances of impact on unit readiness and end strength for health reasons.

    Some of the underlying conditions causing amenorrhea can be quite serious. Sometimes it is a temporary condition related to heavy training and decreased body fat. The starting point is a DQ.

    Being DQ does not automatically equal "not a chance." If the condition has been diagnosed, and medical records showed favorable response to treatment and eventual resolution, then the door to the remedial and waiver process MIGHT be opened. DODMERB DQs. The services MAY waive, depending on their particular requirements.

    There are several threads on here about that process, for various conditions.
     
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  3. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe Member

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    Echoing Capt MJ, it's not the amenorrhea itself that is the problem; it is the underlying conditions causing amenorrhea that can be the bigger issue. In this case underlying conditions can include dangerously low body fat, thyroid problems, or tumors on the pituitary gland or one of the ovaries. More generally, if you look at that list of automatic DQs, there are some head-scratchers on there. It's not necessarily because of the conditions themselves, but what can be causing them.

    For women, there are a very small number of women who just do not menstruate (it's called "idiopathic amenorrhea" - idiopathic means "we don't know what's causing it"). If such a woman were to apply to an SA, she would be DQ'ed by DoDMERB, but I'd speculate that, with proper documentation and once the usual causes are eliminated, she might be a very good bet for a SA to issue a waiver (waiver decisions are up to the SA or ROTC).
     
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  4. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    It's also important to note that the waiver process would likely not be initiated for applicants considered not competitive in other areas.
     
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  5. wisbang35

    wisbang35 wisbang35

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    My son was disqualified for "Absence of one or both testicles," and only recently received his waiver. I never once thought it was "sexist." Statements like that don't get you very far.
     

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