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Safe Sex Between Women

 
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A study conducted in 2008 published in the Annual Review of Nursing Research reported that lesbian women are the segment of the population least likely to pursue health care. This is due, in some part, to negative attitudes they encounter as a result of their sexual orientation.

For example, a reader responding to a piece on lesbian forum Autostraddle commented that “it seems like the whole emphasis on you being there is to prepare for reproduction, or to prepare you against it…I wish they could just check out my lady parts and make sure everything is running smoothly without trying to find out if I’m planning to bring a child into the world at 20.”

Despite these hurdles, it’s just as important to practice safe sex with a woman as it is with a man. Your biggest threat is going to be Human Papilloma virus, because it can be spread simply through skin-to-skin contact. As much as 75 percent of sexually-active Americans have contracted the virus at one time or another, which is especially dangerous for women because it is the number one cause of cervical cancer and a strong factor in developing genital herpes. To best guard against these ailments, just remember to get regular pap smears.

Your other major concerns are going to be yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis (fancy phrase for overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina), Chlamydia, and Gonorrhea. These can all be treated pretty easily with antibiotics, given that you head to the gynecologist in a timely manner.

The two STDs that can be managed – but never cured - are herpes and HIV. Herpes is transmitted through oral and genital sex, and HIV can be spread through blood, vaginal secretions, and breast milk, but not saliva. So how do you manage to avoid them?

Dental dams.

No longer terminally uncool (or unsexy!), dental dams can be placed over the vagina, anus, or any other sexual organ you desire. They are as effective as condoms in protecting you from the major STDs.

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EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

great info, but herpes and HPV are completely different viruses. HPV can lead to genital warts, while herpes simplex I & II are caused by a completely different skin to skin transited strain of viruses.

May 29, 2010 - 7:15pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I'm appalled that you suggest putting a dental dam over a vagina. The correct term is vulva, referring to the outer genitalia. You'd think a lesbian-friendly site would know what the female genitalia are called. (The vagina is an internal organ.)

May 29, 2010 - 10:35am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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