STI Risks for Queer Women – INITIMNA

Instead of explaining it with bees and pollen as they did in school, I will speak openly. If you have sex, you should be aware of the risks of contracting sexually transmitted infections (masturbation is risk free if you do not share sex toys and take minimal hygiene measures). This applies to couples of both sexes.

A recent study from the University of British Columbia and the City University of New York showed that lesbian and bisexual adolescents are at higher risk of becoming pregnant and contracting STIs than heterosexual adolescents. The reason lies in the ignorance of safe sex practices.

Next we will talk about the safest sexual practices for queer women.

What STIs Affect Queer Women?


Genital or oral herpes can spread quickly and cause very painful sores, although it has no effect on fertility. There are medications to stop it, but it is best to avoid sexual contact until the outbreak is controlled.

While other medications help decrease the rate of transmission of this infection, it is essential to visit a doctor in order to obtain the appropriate treatment.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV can be transmitted by contact with the skin, even with the hands, and causes warts on the genitals. Warts are more noticeable on the penis than on the vulva, so some women, because they have no visible symptoms, do not take steps to control the infection and may end up with cervical cancer. However, there is good news: today there is a vaccine to prevent it.


Trichomoniasis can be transmitted through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Men may have no symptoms and still carry the infection. In women, symptoms are usually vaginal discharge, unpleasant vaginal odor, itchy genitals, and painful urination.

Complications include risk of premature delivery in pregnant women. For this reason, the use of protective measures, such as the condom and the oral latex barrier, is recommended. If you have symptoms, you can see a doctor for oral antibiotics.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are caused by bacteria that can infect the cervix, rectum, throat, and urethra. There are usually no symptoms, but when they do, they include vaginal bleeding, yellow vaginal discharge, or rectal pain.

The bacteria can lead to a fallopian tube infection and infertility. Chlamydia and gonorrhea can be transmitted through shared sex toys, by contact with the hands, or by rubbing the vulvas. Your doctor can prescribe specific antibiotics to kill the bacteria and prevent it from spreading.

How can you avoid STIs?

Lesbian and bisexual women should also practice safe sex to avoid STIs. One of the most important things is that you get tested frequently if you have sex with new partners. As you may have seen, most STIs are symptom-free; in fact, the most common symptom is the absence of symptoms!

If you don’t know what STI tests look like, see this article. Remember that your health is more important than having a little embarrassment at the doctor’s office.

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STI Risks for Queer Women – INITIMNA

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Catherine Coaches