BackgroundGenitourinary infections, including those associated with the urinary tract (urinary tract infection [UTI]) and vulvovaginal region, are common in women, affecting approximately one-third of biological females. A growing female military workforce necessitates consideration of their genitourinary health risks and needs to support and enhance their occupational health, safety, and performance.MethodThe pelvic health of active-duty servicewomen in the Australian Defense Force (ADF) was explored using an online cross-sectional survey. For the purposes of this study, only data related to genitourinary infections were extracted. The data were descriptively analysed to provide estimates of period prevalence rates. Risk factors and prevention and management strategies utilized were identified and described.ResultsOf the 491 servicewomen who provided survey responses, 41% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 37%–46%) reported experiencing at least one UTI and 32% (95% CI: 28%–36%) reported experiencing regular symptoms of vulvovaginal irritation during their last period of active-duty service. Service arm, length of service, and history of participation in field activities or deployment were not substantially associated with prevalence estimates. Medical assessment was the most common diagnostic strategy for UTI and antibiotics were the most common management strategy.ConclusionGenitourinary infections are common in female ADF personnel and may impact on occupational health and performance. Therefore, organization-wide prevention and management approaches may be an important strategy for reducing the impact on personnel, their units and mission objectives, by reducing working days lost, utilization of health services and minimizing risks in more austere military environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1668-1675
Number of pages8
JournalNeurourology and Urodynamics
Issue number8
Early online date27 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


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