Reproductive health history of lesbians: Implications for care

Academic Article


  • Objective: Parity and hormonal contraceptives modify the risk of reproductive cancers and cardiovascular disease. However, clinicians may not obtain reproductive histories from patients who self-identify as lesbian. We report lifetime pregnancy-related outcomes and hormonal contraception for 392 women who reported sexual activity with another woman in the preceding year. Study design: Among self-referred volunteers, previous pregnancy, pregnancy outcome, contraceptive use, and sexual identity were assessed with self-administered questionnaire. Results: One in 4 subjects had been pregnant, and more than 50% of the women had used oral contraceptives (mean duration, 40 months). Sixteen percent of all subjects and 63% of those who had been pregnant previously reported having 1 or more induced abortions. The most common pregnancy outcome for women younger than 25 years was induced abortion (59% of pregnancies). Identifying as "lesbian" or "bisexual" predicted neither the duration of oral contraceptive use nor a report of induced abortion. Conclusion: Previous pregnancy, induced abortion, and hormonal contraceptive use are common among women who report sex with women, regardless of self-identification as lesbian. © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Marrazzo JM; Stine K
  • Start Page

  • 1298
  • End Page

  • 1304
  • Volume

  • 190
  • Issue

  • 5