While everyone has health risks to be wary of, self identified lesbians, bisexual women and women that have sex with other women have different risks and obstacles to treatment. It can be daunting and terrifying to think sincerely of our health. If you or someone you know is overwhelmed, remember that you aren’t alone. From support groups, to forums, and aid to the uninsured, there are surprising resources to uncomplicate life. This article’s object is to empower and provide resources for you to explore solutions for your needs. The video below is a brief but amazing introduction. This video is a tiny fraction of what SWASH offers.
The Quiet Obstacles
Women who fit in the aforementioned categories face specific handicaps. These usually stem from societal biases. As a result, many women don’t tell their health care providers about their sexual orientation, because they don’t want discrimination to affect the quality of health care they receive. This can make it harder to have a comfortable relationship with a provider.1 If you don’t feel comfortable with your provider seek another.
There is no benefit to having a medical relationship that isn’t based on truth, trust and respect.Fear of having a negative experience with a health care provider can lead some women to delay or avoid medical care, especially routine care such as early detection tests. Missing routine cancer screening tests can lead to cancer being diagnosed at a later stage, when it’s often harder to treat.1
Health insurance can be really helpful, but coverages and prices vary.
Many health insurance policies don’t cover unmarried partners. This makes it harder for many lesbians and bisexual women to get quality health care.1 Just because you have it, doesn’t mean you have expedited service or a place you feel safe and acknowledged. On the opposite side, not having insurance doesn’t mean you’ll never be seen or be gouged at every corner. Medicaid is more attainable than most realize. If you have a ten to fifteen minutes and are a resident of Colorado, apply here and get your approval status instantly. If that option isn’t available, I’d start with the free clinics and non profits here.
- Support group hubs
- Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
- The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
- The Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists
- QueerAttitude.com (for gay teens)
- American Cancer Society Helpline- 800.227.2345
- American Cancer Society Live Chat
There are many options available to everyone, BUT YOU HAVE TO BE PROACTIVE. Ask for help, explore the options. You are worth the effort and you are allowed to take charge of your health and happiness. If the options provided didn’t help, let us know. I will look into it more. If you find an option that isn’t listed, let us know and I’ll add it. I am not a medical professional, I am trying to help as much as I can, in my limited capacity.
1 Quinn GP, Sanchez JA, Sutton SK, et al. Cancer and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual, and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) Populations. CA Cancer J Clin. 2015;65:384-400.