Lesbian Sexual Health

If I am not having sex with men, why do I need to see a doctor?

Some lesbians feel that because they are not having sex with men they are at a low risk of getting a STD, and do not need gynecologic care.

Every woman, regardles of their sexual orientation and gender identification should have:

  • Routine physicals
  • Pap Smears
  • STD testing and counseling as necessary

The assumption that same-sex relationships are not at risk is completely false, and you should continue to see a health care provider for check-ups.

Am I at risk for STDs even if I have sex with only women?

Whether heterosexual or homosexual, the practice of safe sex is very important in order to lower your chances of getting a STD. A sexually transmitted disease is an infection which is generally passed through sexual and sometimes non sexual contact with an infected person. Anyone can become infected, even a woman in a same sex relationship where neither have ever had sex with a man.

STDs are spread through:

  • contact with infected body fluids, such as blood (including menstrual blood)
  • vaginal fluids
  • semen
  • discharge from a sore caused by a STD
  • contact with infected skin or mucous membrane, and through vaginal, anal, and oral sex can also be means of spreading a STD.

How do I lower my risks of getting a STD?

Some ways to connect with another woman and keep a low risk of a STD could include:

  • hugging
  • (dry) kissing
  • masturbation/mutual masturbation
  • giving each other a massage.

It would be wise to use an oral barrier such as "dental dam", if you are going to be in contact with your partner's vaginal fluids. An oral barrier is a thin plastic or latex protection used to cover parts of the body and prevent contact with bodily fluids.

Get an oral barrier or just cut a condom or latex glove into a square piece of latex. Place the square piece firmly in your fingers and stretch it over your partner's vulva in order to avoid direct contact with bodily fluids.

Latex gloves, condoms, or finger sheaths can protect against transmission of STDs, through sores or cuts/hangnails on fingers when having finger play or digital penetration.

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Last Updated: 14 March 2016

Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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