Military HPV Medical Standards for Enlistment and Commission

Disqualifying Defects Related to Genitalia and Reproductive Organs

Military physician discussing results of an HPV test with a young recruit.
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Having sexually transmitted diseases, being pregnant, or experiencing excessive pain during menstruation or urination are types of issues many people face every day. These issues can be disqualifying when receiving a physical for either enlistment or officer training programs at the Military Enlistment Processing Station (MEPS) or via the Department of Defense Medical Exam Testing System (DoDMETS).

Both men and women with reproductive organ deformities, abnormal bleeding, tumors, or many other possible genetic or accidental issues may not be accepted into the military.

See below for the specific causes for rejection for appointment, enlistment, and induction (without an approved waiver).

Female Reproductive/Genitalia Disqualifying Issues

  • Current or history of abnormal uterine bleeding, including but not limited to menorrhagia, metrorrhagia, or polymenorrhea (excessive period bleeding and irregular menstrual cycle) is disqualifying.
  • Current unexplained amenorrhea (lack of menstrual cycle) is disqualifying.
  • Current or history of dysmenorrhea that is incapacitating to a degree that you need medication and absences of more than a few hours from routine activities are disqualifying. Dysmenorrhea refers to pelvic and abdominal pain or menstrual cramps that occur around the time menstruation begins. Symptoms typically last less than three days.
  • Current or history of endometriosis is disqualifying. Endometriosis is a fairly common disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus.
  • History of major abnormalities or defects of the genitalia such as hermaphroditism, pseudohermaphroditism, or pure gonadal dysgenesis or dysfunctional residuals from surgical correction of these conditions is disqualifying.
  • Current or history of ovarian cysts, when persistent or symptomatic, is disqualifying.
  • Current pelvic inflammatory disease, or history of recurrent pelvic inflammatory disease, is disqualifying.
  • Current or history of chronic pelvic pain or unspecified symptoms associated with female genital organs is disqualifying.
  • Current pregnancy is disqualifying until six months after the end of the pregnancy.
  • Regarding the uterus: congenital absence of or enlargement due to any cause is disqualifying.
  • Current sexually transmitted disease or history of genital infection or ulceration, including but not limited to herpes genitalis or condyloma acuminatum, if of sufficient severity to require frequent intervention or to interfere with normal function, is disqualifying.
  • Current abnormal gynecologic cytology, including but not limited to unspecified abnormalities of the Papanicolaou smear of the cervix (Pap smear), excluding Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) or confirmed Low-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion (LGSIL), is disqualifying.

Male Reproductive Organ/Genitalia Disqualifying Issues

  • The current absence of one or both testicles, either congenital or undescended, is disqualifying.
  • Current epispadias (malformation of the penis in which the urethra ends in an opening on the upper aspect of the penis) or hypospadias (condition in which the opening of the penis is on the underside rather than the tip), when accompanied by evidence of urinary tract infection, urethral stricture, or voiding dysfunction, is disqualifying.
  • Current enlargement or mass of testicle or epididymis is disqualifying.
  • Current orchitis or epididymitis (inflammation of the testicle or sperm storage area) is disqualifying.
  • History of penis amputation is disqualifying.
  • Current sexually transmitted disease or history of genital infection or ulceration, including but not limited to herpes genitalis and condyloma acuminatum, if of sufficient severity to require frequent intervention or to interfere with normal function, is disqualifying.
  • Current acute prostatitis (inflamed prostate) or chronic prostatitis is disqualifying.
  • Current hydrocele (fluid-filled sac around the scrotum), if large or symptomatic, is disqualifying.
  • Left varicocele, if symptomatic or associated with testicular atrophy, or varicocele larger than the testis, is disqualifying.
  • Any right varicocele (enlargement of veins in the scrotum) is disqualifying.
  • Current or history of chronic scrotal pain or unspecified symptoms associated with male genital organs is disqualifying.
  • History of major abnormalities or defects of the genitalia, hermaphroditism, pseudohermaphroditism, or pure gonadal dysgenesis or dysfunctional residuals from surgical correction of these conditions, is disqualifying.

Transgender Issues

Issues related to transgender individuals serving in the military are in flux. In 2019, a new Pentagon policy went into effect. This policy states that transgender individuals who have received hormones or medical surgery related to their transition are barred from joining the military, even if they can prove stability in their preferred gender. Numerous lawsuits are in process disputing this policy.

Derived from Department of Defense (DOD) Directive 6130.3, "Physical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, and Induction," and DOD Instruction 6130.4, "Criteria and Procedure Requirements for Physical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, or Induction in the Armed Forces."