Our Lesbian Same-Sex Articles
Lesbians Still Need Smear Tests!
There's a rumor going around that lesbians
don't need smear tests to detect early signs of cervical cancer! This rumor
seems to have developed from ill-informed doctors believing that women who
have sex with women have no risk of catching the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV),
the disease that causes most forms of cervical cancer. Well they couldn't
be further from the truth! If you or friends of yours have been told that
they don't need smear tests because of their sexuality then you or they should
demand one now!
Let's Get The Facts
The real facts speak for themselves. It is true
that lesbians are at less risk of catching HPV than straight women, but they
are still at risk of cervical cancer. This is especially true if:
1. You smoke
2. You have had sexual relationships with men
in the past, in particular relationships at a young age where you didn't
3. You regularly exchange bodily fluids with
your partner who has had several male partners in the past.
Even if you are fortunate enough to never have
had sex with a man and knew from an early age that you were a lesbian you
are still at risk of cervical abnormalities. In recent tests it was found
that 10% of lesbian women tested had cervical abnormalities and 5% of lesbians
who had never had sex with a man did too! This just goes to show that any
woman can develop cervical cancer and if your doctor or physician tells you
otherwise they are wrong!
How Do Smears Help?
In simple terms, smears save your life. They
can detect HPV and any other signs of abnormality at a very early stage,
even before cancer has had a chance to develop. Every woman between the ages
of 20 and 64 should have a smear test every three to five years as such regular
screening prevents 75% of cancer of the cervix by ensuring that you get early
Your physician or doctor's surgery will have
your name and screening details and every three to five years you will be
invited to a screening. It has to be said that it's not the most dignified
thing to do, as you have to lie down (with your legs akimbo) and let a doctor
or trained nurse insert a speculum to hold your vagina open so that they
can get a cell sample, but if it helps to prevent you from getting cervical
cancer then you should force yourself to go. You have to overcome the
embarrassment; just think of the potential risk to your health if you don't
If you don't want to be examined by a male doctor
or nurse then specify before your appointment that you would like a female.
Also, if you like, insist that your partner comes in to hold your hand and
give you the support that you need.
Are There Clinics For Lesbians?
Well, we all wish there was a clinic in every
town that exists purely for lesbians. You probably won't find one in the
town where you live, but you may be able to determine, from word of mouth,
physicians or clinics that are comfortable with lesbianism and show no signs
The Clinic in Manchester UK can be heralded
as an overnight success. This has been developed specifically for lesbian
women to have smear tests with doctors and trained nurses who are sympathetic
and understanding to women that have sex with women. We just wish there were
more out there - but who knows, perhaps in decades to come we will be surprised!
The Future of Screening
As cervical screening is uncomfortable, and
somewhat embarrassing, we all wish there was a miracle cure or vaccine out
there. Well, you will be delighted to hear that a vaccine has been trialed
in the last year against HPV. Although we will have to wait several years
for any conclusive results to be drawn, this is certainly a giant leap forward
in helping you to maintain your dignity.
In the meantime, it is also being considered
whether, or not, women could take their own smear samples and then hand them
in to there local clinic, or physician, for analysis. Whether, or not, we
will be adept enough about getting great samples who knows, but you can bet
that lesbians would be skilled at it and your partner would be very willing
to help you out!