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5 Things Lesbians Should Be Talking to Their Physicians About - from CIRCLE CARE Center

This piece was originally published by Driven Local on CIRCLE CARE Center's website on June 18. 2017. Triangle Community Center has a long-standing partnership with CIRCLE CARE Center, and one of the best ways to support your local LGBTQ community center is to access services available at CIRCLE CARE Center.


When it comes to telling others about your sexual orientation — to each his (or her!) own. Some people find comfort in being openly gay, while others prefer to share that information with a select group of people. Very few people need to know your sexual identity — except for your physician that is. Believe it or not, disclosing your sexual identity plays a major role in your health care. If you’re a lesbian, make sure you talk to your physician about these important topics.  

BREAST CANCER

When compared to straight women, lesbians are less likely to get breast cancer screenings and mammograms. Because of this, lesbians are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced or late-stage breast cancer. As with any cancer, the earlier it’s discovered, the more treatment options there are.

HEART HEALTH

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among all women — straight and gay. For this reason, every woman should be talking to her doctor about heart health. Among lesbians, smoking and obesity are some of the biggest risk factors for heart disease. The best way for any woman to keep her heart healthy is by not smoking and maintaining a healthy body weight.

GYNECOLOGICAL CANCER

Lesbians are at a higher risk for certain types of gynecological cancers than straight women. Because of this, lesbians should have annual pelvic exams and pap tests.

SEXUAL HEALTH

Lesbians are just as likely as straight women to give and catch an STI, but they are less likely to take precautions against it. Lesbians can transfer STIs through skin-to-skin contact, mucus membrane contact, and vaginal fluids.

ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE

Stress from homophobia, sexism, and discrimination make it more likely for lesbians to have a drug problem than heterosexual women. If you suspect you’re abusing drugs or alcohol, you should talk to your physician about joining a therapy group or treatment program.

 

CIRCLE CARE Center (CCC) provides quality, sensitive and comprehensive primary care targeted to meet the health needs of the LGBTQ community and people living with HIV/AIDS. If you are sexually active or suspect that you may have an STI, CIRCLE CARE Center is a Center of Excellence for the prevention and treatment of STIs.s