LGBT Health: Lesbian and Bisexual Women

Three smiling women in a fun group taking a selfie.

Lesbian and bisexual women have many of the same health concerns as women who are not lesbian or bisexual. For example, all women should maintain a healthy diet and body weight, exercise regularly, limit alcohol consumption, and avoid exposure to cigarette smoke. Many other recommendations for promoting healthy behaviors apply to all women. However, it is important for lesbian and bisexual women to be aware that they are more likely to experience certain adverse health outcomes. Studies demonstrate that lesbian and bisexual women have higher rates of heavy drinking and obesity and are less likely to seek routine breast and cervical cancer screening than other women.

The following selection of resources is intended to increase awareness of health issues and disparities affecting lesbian and bisexual women. Use the left side navigation bar to learn more about any of the health concerns addressed below. Hyperlinks marked State icon in the content below are Wisconsin resources.

General Resources

Health information for lesbian and bisexual women
Description:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) webpage on general health concerns among lesbian woman
Resource availability: Internet

10 things lesbians should discuss with their health care provider
Description:
Guidelines for communication published by the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
Resource availability: Internet

See all General Resources

Alcohol And Drugs

Substance Use and SUDs in LGBT Populations
Description:
Overview of general research findings regarding substance use among LGBT people.
Resource availability: Internet

National Helpline - 1-800-662-4357
Description:
Free, confidential 24/7, 365-day-a-year, treatment and referral information service (in English and Spanish) regarding mental and/or substance disorders.
Resource availability: Internet

Cancer

Cancer facts for lesbian and bisexual women
Description:
Information on risk, prevention, and detection of lung, skin, colon, breast, and gynecological cancers among lesbian and bisexual women; published by the American Cancer Society.
Resource availability: Internet

National LGBT Cancer Network
Description:
Information on population specific cancer risks, optional electronic screening reminder
Resource availability: Internet

National LGBT Cancer Project
Description: National nonprofit LGBT organization providing cancer survivor support and advocacy services.
Resource availability: Internet

Wisconsin Well Woman ProgramState icon
Description: The Wisconsin Well Woman Program provides preventive health screening services to women with little or no health insurance coverage.
Resource availability: Internet

HIV/AIDS

AIDS Resource Center of WisconsinState icon
Description: Medical center, social services, and prevention programs
Resource availability: Wisconsin

CDC
Description: Federal government website with comprehensive public health information regarding the HIV epidemic.
Resource availability: Internet

HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau
Description: Federal government website regarding the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and support of health and support services for persons living with HIV.
Resource availability: Internet

Wisconsin HIV Program State icon
Description: Wisconsin HIV statistics and information resources regarding prevention and care services in Wisconsin.
Resource availability: Internet

Mental Health

Depression in the LGBT Population
Description: Overview of depression among LGBT community members.
Resource availability: Internet

LGBTQ Crisis Line
Description: Trained counselors from the Trevor Project offer support 24/7.
Resource Availability: Internet and toll-free hotline: 1-866-488-7386

Mental Health and the LGBTQ Community
Description: Fact sheet from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation about mental health and the LGBTQ community.
Resource availability: Internet

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Description: A 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
Resource availability: Internet & toll-free hotline: 1-800-273-TALK [8255]

Suicide Prevention in Wisconsin
Description: Information and resources regarding suicide prevention in Wisconsin
Resource Availability: Internet

Understanding Anxiety and Depression for LGBTQ People
Description: LGBT information and support regarding anxiety and depression.
Resource availability: Internet

Sexual Health

Lesbian and Bisexual Health Fact Sheet
Description:
Fact sheet covering lesbian and bisexual health from Womenshealth.gov.
Resource availability: Internet

Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Description: Information on STD diagnosis and treatments from the CDC.
Resource availability: Internet

Tobacco

CDC – Tips from Former Smokers
Description:
Real stories of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) people who are suffering from smoking-related diseases and disabilities.
Resource availability: Internet

Truth Initiative
Description: Fact sheet on tobacco use in LGBT communities. 
Resource availability: Internet

Violence/Safety

Northwest Network
Description: LGBT information and support regarding abuse and violence (based in Seattle, WA)
Resource availability: Internet

StopBullying.gov
Description: Information from various government agencies on how kids, teens, young adults, parents, educators and others in the community can prevent or stop bullying.
Resource availability: Internet

Last Revised: December 2, 2019