The Women's Health Resource Center
Find out more about services offered at the Women's Health Resource Center.
Lesbians are as diverse as the population at large, crossing all geographic, economic, racial, ethnic, religious, age, and other boundaries. One universal experience facing lesbians is the discrimination and marginalization in our society, which often leads to diminished access to appropriate health care. Lesbians are less likely to seek out health care for any number of reasons, including: fear of medical providers’ homophobia, negative past experiences with health care professionals, lack of need for contraception which causes most women to seek health care, and less access to health insurance due to workplace policies that do not cover unmarried partners. Consequently, many lesbians tend to not seek routine physical examinations including pap smears and mammograms as frequently as heterosexual women.
Lesbians may or may not be at a higher risk for cancers, however, recent studies have shown that less frequent accessing of care means that lesbians are less likely to have existing cancers detected early and thus may have higher rates of cancer mortality. Research on lesbian health, and more specifically this subject, however has only recently been funded.
Lesbians, as all women, should have screening tests appropriate to their age, medical history, and family history in a safe and welcoming environment. These tests may include an annual exam with appropriate blood tests, mammogram, pap smear, colonoscopy, and bone density.
California Pacific Medical Center is sensitive to the needs of all women, encouraging women of all ethnic groups, ages and sexual orientations to seek preventative health care screenings. If you are seeking medical care from a physician who is sensitive to your needs, please call our physician referral line at 888-637-2762 or The Women's Health Resource Center at 415-600-0500.