Catherine H. Mercer and Andrew J. At the time of the study, Julia V. Bailey was with Kings College London, London. Anne M.
Women who have sex with women
Women Who Have Sex With Women - SWISH
Women who have sex with women WSW are women who engage in sexual activities with other women, whether or not they identify themselves as lesbian , bisexual , heterosexual , or dispense with sexual identification altogether. In terms of medical issues with regard to lesbian sexual practices , the sexual identification of women who consult a medical professional is usually not sought nor volunteered, due to the misconceptions and assumptions about sexuality and the hesitancy of some women in disclosing their accurate sexual histories even to a physician. Many women who do not participate in heterosexual activity do not go to see a physician because they do not require birth control , which is the initiating factor for most women to seek consultation with a gynecologist when they become sexually active. Lesbians are less likely than their heterosexual and bisexual counterparts to get screened for cervical cancer , with some being refused screenings by medical professionals. The lower rate of lesbians tested by regular pap smears makes it more difficult to detect cervical cancer at early stages in lesbians.
Women who have sex with women generally have the same sexual health and reproductive health needs as any other woman. However, there are some specific bits of information that may be helpful for you if you are sexually active. If you have oral sex when you or your partner have cold sores, cuts on the skin around the vagina, anus or mouth, or are having your period then you might be at risk of viral infections such as herpes or hepatitis.
The impact of non-heterosexual sexualities on the health care of women has been on the global research agenda since the s. Different criteria have been used to characterize lesbianity and bisexuality in health studies, such as sexual practices sexual behavior , object of desire sexual orientation and sexual self-identity. Frequent inconsistency between reported sexual identity and sexual practices can make women's health care invisible. The sexual and reproductive health needs of the lesbian and bisexual female population have specificities related to their sexual practices. This argument justifies the use of the expression 'women who have sex with women' WSW to group lesbian and bisexual women together in a large number of studies on health, lesbianity and bisexuality.