for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality

Sexual health for lesbian and bisexual women

Stonewall's groundbreaking lesbian health survey, the largest of it's kind outside America, found that less than half of lesbian and bisexual women have ever been screened for sexually transmitted infections.

We also found that half of those who have been screened had an STI and a quarter of those with STIs have only had sex with women in the last five years.

Unfortunately it is often mistakenly assumed that women who have sex with other women cannot contract sexually transmitted diseases. This is because it is assumed that women do not exchange fluids during sex. It is sometimes thought that sex between women does not really constitute sex at all and therefore does not pose a risk to either party. This is not the case. Women can, and do, exchange fluids, and engage in sexual activity that can have consequences for a woman's health.

The lack of visibility and acknowledgement of lesbian sexuality can affect whether a woman feels able to discuss her relationship, or concerns about her relationships or sexual activity, with a health care professional. Many lesbian and bisexual women feel unable to be open about their sexual orientation with their doctor or local healthcare provider. Stonewall's lesbian health survey found that sadly half of lesbian and bisexual women are not out to their GP. This means that lesbian and bisexual women often do not get the right or accurate information about how to practice safe sex.

There are some useful downloads below, and some related links to the right of this page.

  • Click here to download the NHS leaflet on sexual health for women who have sex with women

  • Click here to download Beating about the Bush, the Lesbian and Gay Foundation's sexual health guide for women who have sex with women

  • Click here to download Thanks for the Mammaries, the Lesbian and Gay Foundation's booklet on breast health.



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