Although female service members make up 17 percent of the force, a yearlong study by the Defense Health Board suggests the Pentagon is not providing proper medical care to women, reports.

“Active duty women continue to experience high rates of stress fractures and other musculoskeletal injuries, urogenital infections, unintended pregnancies, sexual violence, anxiety, depression, adjustment disorders, and eating disorders. These conditions adversely affect active duty women’s readiness and health,” wrote the study’s authors.

Some of the problems arise from females needing to adapt to male-focused equipment and clothing. This includes proper footwear and gear fitting, which includes sports bras and protective equipment.

The study attributes this to a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach for health fitness that leads to training injuries in a mixed-gender population.

“Women enter the military with lower fitness levels than men and are more susceptible to overuse and lower limb injuries. Their musculoskeletal injury risk is further increased when they attempt to meet gender-neutral health fitness standards and without access to gender-customized equipment.”

Photo By Capt. Ryan DeBooy