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What Lesbian And Bisexual Women Need To Know About Sexual Health

Heteronormative sex education often leaves out vital information about lesbian and bisexual women's health and so we've put together a list of several need to know sexual health facts.
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Unfortunately, despite many schools having good sexual health education, these lessons are far from comprehensive and very often ignore the sexual health of (cis) women who sleep with other (cis) women.

Left to learn about sexual health on their own, naturally, there may be some things that are unclear, unknown or overlooked, so, with this post, we list some incredibly important things that lesbian and bisexual women need to know about sexual health.


1. Lesbian and Bi Women Are Not Immune from STIs

One common misconception is that lesbian and bisexual women cannot get STIs (sexually transmitted infections) through sleeping with women. However, although the risk is significantly lower than for women who sleep with men, STI transmission is entirely possible. This can occur with sexual acts that involve any skin to skin contact, contact with bodily fluids, or the sharing of sex toys – regardless of the gender/sex of the people involved.


2. Few Lesbian and Bi Women Use Dental Dams

Perhaps it’s because of this misconception (that women who sleep with other women cannot contract STIs) that the use of dental dams (a latex square that can prevent the transmission of STIs during oral sex) is incredibly low. In an interview with BuzzFeed, sex therapist Dr. Madeleine M. Castellanos revealed that “less than 10% of women use them at all, with only a fraction of them using dams regularly”.


3. Condoms Can Be Turned Into Dental Dams

For those who do want to use dental dams to keep themselves protected during oral sex, then in then absence of an actual dental dam, condoms can be turned into dental dams instead. Details of how to to turn a condom into a dental dam can be found on the Sexuality and U website.


4. Many Bisexual Women Don’t Tell Their Doctors Their Sexuality

According to a Scottish Equality Network survey of 513 bisexual people in the UK, 28% of those surveyed said that they would never feel comfortable informing their doctors of their sexuality and 66% felt pressure to pass as straight. A further 42% of people passed as gay or lesbian to their doctors instead of bisexual.

Although this is understandable, it is often quite important for doctors to know a patients sexuality in order to make accurate treatment suggestions and diagnoses.


5. Lesbian and Bi Women Should Still Get Tested (Even in Monogamous Relationships)

As noted by Amplify, women who are in a monogamous relationship with one another shouldn’t suddenly stop practicing safe sex – even if they’ve been tested. As it can take between three and six months for HIV results to come back positive, it’s advised that you go back and get tested again six months into the relationships.


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With almost a decade of experience as a journalist, it's the need for equality that drives my writing. With my articles I'd like to help dismantle ignorant thinking one word at a time, or, at the very least, make my readers smile. I also like: cute animals, a good cup of tea and debating which character on Orange is the New Black I'd most like to be BFFs with.

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