In Focus:

Health issues for lesbians and women who have sex with women

All women face certain health risks. However, sexual minority women, such as those who identify as lesbian or bisexual as well as women who have sex with women, have some specific health concerns.

Although your individual risks are shaped by many factors beyond your sexual orientation and practices — including family history and age — it's important to understand common health issues for sexual minority women and steps you can take to stay healthy.

 

Safeguard your mental health

 

Sexual minority women are at higher risk of depression and anxiety. In addition, youth who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender have a higher risk of depression and attempted suicide.

Contributing factors include social alienation, discrimination, rejection by loved ones, abuse and violence. The problem might be more severe for sexual minority women who are not "out" to others and those who lack social support.

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