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Medical care of sexual minority women

Author
Nina M Carroll, MD
Section Editors
Robert L Barbieri, MD
Joann G Elmore, MD, MPH
Deputy Editor
Kristen Eckler, MD, FACOG

INTRODUCTION

In providing clinical care, clinicians are encouraged never to make assumptions about a patient's sexual identity, orientation, and behavior because they can differ from each other as well as change over time. Knowing and understanding a patient's sexual identity, orientation, and behavior improves health care providers' abilities to provide quality care and recognize areas of disproportionate risk. While there is no stereotypical profile that identifies sexual minority women (SMW) (eg, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender women or LGBT), recognizing SMW is important because these women are at increased risk for adverse health outcomes, including mental health issues, tobacco and substance use, and sexually transmitted infections.

This topic will address issues related to the medical care of SMW. Detailed reviews of related topics are presented separately.

(See "Sexual minority youth: Overview of primary care".)

(See "Sexual minority youth: Epidemiology and health concerns".)

LANGUAGE AND TERMINOLOGY

Gender – Gender refers to the "cultural meanings of patterns of behavior, experience, and personality that are labeled masculine or feminine" and thus provides a social construct that determines roles and relationships [1,2]. The concept of gender can vary by society and can change over time [2].

                           

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Fri Nov 04 00:00:00 GMT 2016.
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