LGBT Foundation's Women's Programme has done lots of work over the years to support and empower lesbian and bisexual women to improve their health, including specific campaigns around cervical screening, breast cancer and alcohol use. Research shows that these are particular areas where lesbian and bisexual women are more likely to suffer from health issues and yet they are generally less informed and experience more barriers to accessing help.
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 LGBT people.
Are You Ready For Your Screen Test?
In the past, women who were in relationships with women 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.
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.
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 your breasts is important, but it can also be fun! Knowing how your breasts look and feel can help in the early detection of breast cancer.
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.
And if you're concerned about your drug or alcohol use, you can have a chat with us.
Advice and personal 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