Threats from the batterer to "out" you by telling friends, loved ones, colleagues or community members your sexual orientation Fear of discrimination Staying in an abusive relationship might leave you depressed, anxious and hopeless. Protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections Certain sexually transmitted infections — such as human papillomavirus HPV , bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis — can spread between women. The problem might be more severe for sexual minority women who are not "out" to others and those who lack social support. Local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender health, mental health or community centers often provide substance abuse treatment. Testing is important because many people don't know they're infected, and others might not be honest about their health. The HPV vaccine is available to women up to age
During digital vaginal or anal penetration, consider using a latex glove. Share any other health concerns you might have with your doctor as well. To protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections: If you're reluctant to seek treatment, confide in a trusted friend or loved one. Wash sex toys with hot soapy water between uses or cover them with a fresh condom. Share your sexual orientation with your provider, and ask about routine screenings recommended for women in your age group — such as blood pressure and cholesterol measurements and screenings for breast cancer and cervical cancer. Sign up now Health issues for lesbians and women who have sex with women Know important health issues for lesbians and women who have sex with women — from sexually transmitted infections to depression — and get tips for taking charge of your health. Local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender health, mental health or community centers often provide substance abuse treatment. The best way to stay healthy is to practice safer sex. Early diagnosis and treatment help promote long-term health. By Mayo Clinic Staff All women face certain health risks. Make routine health care a priority Some sexual minority women struggle to find a doctor knowledgeable about their specific health issues and with whom they feel comfortable discussing their needs and concerns. If you're not in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship, schedule regular screenings for sexually transmitted infections. Organizations such as GLMA also might provide referrals. Oral sex and sexual behavior involving digital-vaginal or digital-anal contact, particularly with shared penetrative sex toys, can spread infections as well. During oral sex, use a small piece of latex dental dam or latex barrier. The GLMA website is one place to find referrals for doctors. Testing is important because many people don't know they're infected, and others might not be honest about their health. If you're a target of domestic violence, tell someone about the abuse, whether it's a friend, loved one, health care provider or other close contact. If you think you might be depressed, talk to your doctor or seek help from a mental health provider. Vaccinations can protect you from hepatitis A and hepatitis B, serious liver infections that can spread through sexual contact. Sexual minority women might be more likely to stay silent about this kind of violence due to: However, sexual minority women, such as those who identify as lesbian or bisexual as well as women who have sex with women, have some specific health concerns. Safeguard your mental health Sexual minority women are at higher risk of depression and anxiety. Protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections Certain sexually transmitted infections — such as human papillomavirus HPV , bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis — can spread between women.
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