Why are lesbian, gay or bisexual women less likely to take up their cervical screening invite?

30 June 2022

Cervical screening prevents up to 75% of cervical cancers from developing and not attending is the biggest risk factor for developing cervical cancer.

Anyone with a cervix (aged 25 to 64) is eligible to attend cervical screening. Yet, as well as dealing with common barriers, lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB)  women sadly face the myth that they don’t need to attend cervical screening. This is driven by misconceptions and poor understanding around the causative effects of HPV and the subsequent development of cervical cancer.

Research from the LGBT Foundation has shown that 40% of LGB women aged 25 – 64 have incorrectly been told they don’t need to attend because of their sexual orientation.  This has fundamentally had a devastating impact on attendance rates and subsequently declining cervical screening in the LGB community.

As a healthcare professional if consulting with an LGB patient:

  • Be sensitive to any specific anxiety they may have in healthcare appointments
  • Try not to make assumptions about the gender of someone’s partner or the type of sexual relationships they are having
  • Be aware that they may have experienced discrimination in the past because of their sexual orientation and this may impact how comfortable they feel about the appointment.

Find out more:

  • Access GatewayC’s ‘Cervical Cancer – Early Diagnosis’ course here
  • Read the ‘HPV: What are the common myths?’ Cancer Key here
  • Watch ‘Diagnosing Cervical Cancer and the Role of Prevention and Screening’ on-demand webinar here
  • Access Jo’s Cervical Trust’s cervical screening resources here

LinkedIn Twitter | Facebook

Latest from the Blog

Are lung metastases visible on a chest X-ray?

Are lung metastases visible on a chest X-ray?

28 July 2022 The lungs are the second most common site of secondary breast cancer and presenting symptoms of lung metastases can be vague. Common symptoms such as cough, chest pain and shortness of breath have many different causes. A chest X-ray is a useful...

read more

Related Posts

Are lung metastases visible on a chest X-ray?

Are lung metastases visible on a chest X-ray?

28 July 2022 The lungs are the second most common site of secondary breast cancer and presenting symptoms of lung metastases can be vague. Common symptoms such as cough, chest pain and shortness of breath have many different causes. A chest X-ray is a useful...

read more