The leading cause of death for all cisgender women is heart disease. The CDC defines the term women who have sex with women, or WSW, as a diverse group with varied identities, behaviors, practices and risks. WSW must still have all the proper care to prevent cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancer and STDs.
Lesbians and bisexual women face a higher risk for breast cancer and gynecological cancers than heterosexual women. Lesbians and bisexual women are also at higher risk of substance abuse, smoking, heavy drinking and weight problems.
Quick Health Tips for Cisgender Lesbians and Bisexual Women
- Coming out to your provider will ensure you have the best care and receive all the testing you need to stay healthy. If your provider is not an ally, find another provider.
- Lesbians and bisexual women may be at increased risk for breast and gynecological cancers. Get the proper tests.
- Lesbians and bisexual women can get the same STDs as heterosexual women. Make sure to get STD tests regularly.
- Human papillomavirus is common among WSW, especially younger women. Screen for HPV and cervical cancer and ask about the HPV vaccine.
- If you smoke, take steps to quit.
- A healthy diet and fitness program are important because lesbians are more likely to be overweight or obese compared to heterosexual women. Get screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.
- Bisexual women suffer increased rates of emotional stress, eating disorders and suicidality compared to lesbians and heterosexual women. Seek out mental health counseling or talk to your provider to get help.
- Hormone irregularity rates are higher in lesbians and so are rates of polycystic ovary syndrome. Ask about treatments for irregular periods or PCOS.
For more information, please visit: LGBTQ+ Guide | Health Risks, Prevention, Treatment & Help (drugwatch.com)