HEALTH ISSUES FOR LESBIANS AND TIPS TO MANAGE THESE HEALTH ISSUES
Human sexuality is the way in which we experience and express ourselves as sexual beings. Whether, I am a male or female will likely have a major influence on the development of my individual sexuality. Next to sleeping and eating, it seems that it is one of the most important drives we have to deal with as humans. That is, it takes up so much of our time in thought and behavior that it sometimes seems that every facet of our life revolves around this to a certain extent.
Female sexuality is often not adequately represented in texts and documents. Until very recently, much of what has been documented about women’s sexuality has been written by men. Often artistic representations of female sexuality suggest trends or ideas on broad scales, giving historians clues as to how widespread or accepted erotic relationships between women were.
Homosexuality is sexual interest in and attraction to members of one’s own sex. The term gay is frequently used as a synonym for homosexual; female homosexuality is often referred to as lesbianism. Lesbianism or female homosexuality is the tendency of a human female to be emotionally and usually sexually attracted to other females.
Common health issues for lesbians-
Lesbians face unique challenges within the health care system that can cause poorer mental and physical health. Some women’s hesitant to disclose their accurate sexual histories even to a physician. Many self-identified lesbians neglect to see a physician because they do not participate in heterosexual activity and require no birth control, which is the initiating factor for most women to seek consultation with a gynecologist when they become sexually active. As a result, many lesbians are not screened regularly with Pap smears. Some lesbians neglect seeking medical screening in the U.S.; they lack health insurance because many employers do not offer health benefits to domestic partners.
When women do seek medical attention, medical professionals often fail to take a complete medical history. In a 2006 study of 2,345 lesbian and bisexual women, only 9.3% had claimed they had ever been asked their sexual orientation by a physician.
In general, lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) older adults were found to be in poorer health than heterosexuals, specifically in terms of higher rates of cardiovascular disease, weakened immune system and low back or neck pain. They also were at greater risk of some adverse health behaviors such as smoking and excessive drinking.
1) Mental issues-
Sexual minority women are at higher risk of depression and anxiety. Contributing factors include social alienation, discrimination, and rejection by loved ones, abuse and violence. The problem might be more severe for sexual minority women who are not “out” to others and those who lack social support. Despite strides in our larger society, discrimination against lesbians does exist, and discrimination for any reason may lead to depression and anxiety.
2) Heart diseases-
Factors that raise women’s risk for heart disease such as obesity, smoking, and stress are high among lesbians. The more risk factors a woman has, the greater the chance that she will develop heart disease. Strokes, heart attacks, asthma, arthritis and lower back or neck pain affected significantly greater percentages of lesbian and bisexual women than heterosexual women.
3) Sexually transmitted infections & Genital Herpes treatment in Mumbai –
Certain sexually transmitted infections such as human papillomavirus (HPV), bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis can spread between women. Oral sex and sexual behavior involving digital-vaginal or digital-anal contact, particularly with shared penetrative sex toys, can spread infections as well. Female sexual contact is also a possible means of contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. There’s no cure for HIV/AIDS and many sexually transmitted infections, such as HPV and genital herpes treatment in Mumbai. The best way to stay healthy is to practice safer sex.
- Get tested and have your partner tested.
- Practice safer sex.
- Be monogamous.
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink, and don’t use drugs.
- Get vaccinated.
4) High rate of substance abuse like alcohol and smoking-
Sexual minority women report higher rates of tobacco use and alcohol and drug dependence. Lesbian and bisexual women were up to two times as likely to engage in adverse health behaviors such as excessive drinking. Because of these factors there is high risk of abuse related health issues.
Lesbian women may be at a higher risk for uterine, breast, cervical, endometrial, and ovarian cancers because of the health profiles and associated lifestyle factors.
- Lesbians have traditionally been less likely to bear children. Hormones released during pregnancy and breastfeeding are believed to protect women against breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers.
- Lesbians have higher rates of alcohol use, poor nutrition, and obesity. These factors may increase the risk of breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers, and other cancers.
- Lesbians are less likely to visit a doctor or nurse for routine screenings, such as a Pap, which can prevent or detect cervical cancer. The viruses that cause most cervical cancer can be sexually transmitted between women.
Many studies have found that lesbians have a higher body mass than heterosexual women. Studies suggest that lesbians may store fat more in the abdomen and have a greater waist circumference, which places them at higher risk for heart disease and other obesity-related issues such as cancers of the uterus, ovary, breast, and colon; premature death.
How to maintain health for lesbian female-
- Find a doctor who is sensitive to your needs to help you get regular check-ups.
- Get a Pap test. The Pap test finds changes in your cervix early, so you can be treated before the problem becomes serious. Talk to your doctor or nurse about an HPV test if your Pap test is abnormal.
- Practice safer sex.
- Have a balanced, healthy diet.
- Drink moderately. (Alcohol)
- Don’t smoke.
- Exercise regularly.
- Try different strategies to deal with your stress.
- Get help for domestic violence.
Best advice to have regular health check-ups and talk about your difficulties as lesbian female with open minded doctor. Get counseling if needed; here we as sexologist come in situation to help you cope with sexual issues and doubts.