Do sexual minority women receive appropriate sexual and reproductive health counseling?

November 6, 2018, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc
Credit: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

According to a new study that used data from the National Survey of Family Growth 2006-2015, lesbian women were less likely to report receiving a birth control prescription or birth control counseling compared with heterosexual women. However, they were more likely to report having received sexually transmitted infection (STI) counseling, testing, or treatment, after adjusting for sexual partners in the past 12 months. In a clinical setting, lesbian women were less likely to report receiving birth control counseling at a pregnancy test and lesbian women without recent male sex partners were less likely to report receiving counseling about condom use at an STI-related visit compared with heterosexual women. The findings regarding sexual and reproductive health care disparities among women are reported in an article published in Journal of Women's Health.

Bethany Everett, Ph.D., University of Utah (Salt Lake City), and colleagues from the University of Wisconsin (Madison) and the University of Chicago (IL), investigated sexual orientation disparities in the use of sexual and services and receipt of contraceptive counseling in clinical settings in the past 12 months. In the article titled, "Do Sexual Minorities Receive Appropriate Sexual and Reproductive Health Care and Counseling?" the researchers also explored whether having male sex partners influenced sexual minority women's use of sexual and reproductive health services and the types of sexual health information that they received.

"This new research emphasizes the importance of considering both sexual orientation and recent sexual behaviors when addressing the sexual and reproductive health needs of sexual minority women," states Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women's Health and Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health, Richmond, VA. "Using inclusive sexual and reproductive health counseling scripts may facilitate the delivery of appropriate sexual health-related information."

Explore further: CDC: many adults not receiving sexual risk assessments

More information: Bethany G. Everett et al, Do Sexual Minorities Receive Appropriate Sexual and Reproductive Health Care and Counseling?, Journal of Women's Health (2018). DOI: 10.1089/jwh.2017.6866

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