Health & wellbeing
LGBT Foundation wants to help all lesbian and bisexual women* to live healthy, happy lives. As well as offering information and support to women, we work with partners in the healthcare sector to try to ensure they are better able to meet the needs of their patients.
We know that lesbian and bisexual women sometimes have specific health care needs and that sometimes assumptions about a woman's sexual orientation and her relationships can impair her access to healthcare. We continually try to raise awareness of health issues which affect lesbian and bisexual women and to improve healthcare services. Through our Pride In Practice scheme, we work with GPs and health centres to help them improve the services they offer to LGB people.
Mental health & wellbeing
We run services to help improve mental health and wellbeing as well as providing a range of information and resources on physical health for women. Click here to find out more about our wellbeing services.
Unfortunately lesbian and bisexual women may be more likely than heterosexual women to suffer from depression, anxiety or other mental health issues. Research shows that most lesbian and bisexual women would first seek help from a friend, so we've put together our 'You've Got A Friend' booklet to offer practical tips to anyone who is trying to help their friend. Click here to download a copy.
Looking for sexual health information? Click here to visit our section on sex and sexual health for women who have sex with women. LGBT Foundation provides free safer sex info packs and dental dams on request - email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0345 3 30 30 30. If you're worried about your sexual health, or think you may have a sexually transmitted infection (STI) click here to find out more.
In the past, lesbians and other women with female partners were often told they didn't need cervical screening (smear tests). This information was inaccurate and potentially put lives at risk. Our Are You Ready For Your Screen Test? campaign aims to dispel myths about cervical screening and encourages everyone with a cervix to take up their invitations to cervical screening. Click here to learn more about cervical screening and why lesbian and bisexual women should have regular screening.
Advice and real life experiences
Click on the links below to read real life experiences and advice on specific health issues:
- Click here to read Jean's story of battling breast cancer.
- Click here to read advice on requesting a doctor of a specific gender for physical examinations
- Click here to read Laura's experience of womb cancer
- Click here to read info on HPV for lesbian and bisexual women
- Click here to read Rosie's story of campaigning to improve healthcare services
Our health and wellbeing resources for lesbian and bisexual women include:
Are You Ready For Your Screen Test?
Our 'Are you ready for your screen test?' campaign for women aims to dispel the myths around lesbian and bisexual women and cervical screening, and raise awareness that lesbian and bisexual women do need regular cervical screening tests.
All women between the ages of 25 and 64 who have a cervix – including lesbian and bisexual women - need to go for regular cervical screening.
The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer, can be passed on during sex. This includes sexual activity between two women. To find out more go to lgbt.foundation/screening.
Beating about the Bush
Our guide to sex and sexual health for women who have sex with women.
This is the first resource of its kind in the UK for lesbian and bisexual women. It is also the most popular resource LGBT Foundation has ever produced.
You've Got A Friend
Our guide to supporting lesbian and bisexual women who may be going through a tough time.
This little booklet gives practical advice on improving mental health and wellbeing. It's aimed at the friends, family and partners of lesbian and bisexual women.
A Guide For Lesbian & Bisexual Women Who Have Been Affected By Sexual Violence
Our guide for lesbian and bisexual women who are survivors of rape or sexual assault.
Sexual violence is a complex issue which impacts on the lives of victims in very different ways, but there are some common reactions, which this booklet will help you to get to grips with.
Whatever point you’re at in your journey towards moving on, we want you to know that you’re not alone; there is support out there if you’d like it, and things can get better.
Thanks for the Mammaries
Stonewall's 2008 report on lesbian and bisexual women's health - Prescription for Change - found that 1/12 lesbian and bisexual women aged between 50 and 79 have been diagnosed with breast cancer, compared to 1/20 women in general.
Therefore it is important that we provide information to lesbian and bisexual women on breast health.
Getting to know yours, and her breasts can be fun and also very important and knowing how your breasts look and feel can help in the early detection of breast cancer.
This section will tell you all you need to know about breast health!
|• Your breasts||• Size isn't everything||• The sex bit|
|• The Bra!||• Age changes||• Nipples|
|• Breast cancer||• Pregnant boobs|
Girls on Pop
In partnership with NHS Manchester, we've published this informative resource for lesbian and bisexual women to help pass on information about drinking safely and responsibly and looking after our health.
In this resource we take a look at why women like to drink, the effects of alcohol on our health and behaviour, where to get support, alternative ways to be social without getting worse for wear, and much more.
*Our services for women are open to anyone who self-identifies as a woman some or all of the time and is lesbian, bisexual or questioning their sexual orientation. This includes non-binary or gender-fluid people who want to access a women's space. We try to make our services welcoming and accessible to all; if you have any specific access requirements please let us know and we'll try to help.