Trends of utilisation of reproductive health services by lesbian women in Cape Town

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Steyn, Petrus S en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Archary, Paverson en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2015-06-29T07:41:31Z
dc.date.available 2015-06-29T07:41:31Z
dc.date.issued 2014 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Archary, P. 2014. Trends of utilisation of reproductive health services by lesbian women in Cape Town. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/13150
dc.description Includes bibliographical references. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract Background: The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community has historically been marginalised. Increased international awareness of the LGBT profile has led to the recognition that the medical profession has overlooked the health needs of lesbian women, with a resultant paucity of data regarding lesbian women’s health risks. International literature has shown that lesbians remain at risk of sexually transmitted infections and HIV; are at significant risk of mental health disorders; exhibit a high-risk profile for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, as well as cancer, and underutilise health care services due to experiences of homophobia. South African data is almost non-existent. Objective: To explore Cape Town wsw’s (women who have sex with women) experiences with, and trends of utilisation of Reproductive Healthcare Services. Study Design: Cross Sectional Survey. Methods: A sample of self-identified wsw was recruited using a snowball sampling method to complete an anonymous, self-administered online questionnaire during February 2013. Outcome Measures: Predominantly descriptive, with an aim to validate the study questionnaire for the South African context. Results: A total of 116 responses were analysed. The mean age of the population was 37 years of age, with the majority identifying as lesbian. The population comprised predominantly of Caucasian, middle class suburban residents, with most having medical aid, and accessing private health care. A significant proportion of respondents reported previous intercourse with a male sexual partner. Barrier contraception was not always used during intercourse with men and almost never during sex with women. There were a significant number of sexually transmitted infections in women with no previous male sexual partners. Most respondents considered themselves to be at low risk of contracting HIV, and at intermediate risk of cervical and breast cancer, and showed higher than average utilization of cervical screening practices for 4 this population, despite a general perception that screening is unnecessary in lesbian women. A general trend towards disclosure of sexual orientation was noted; however users of private healthcare were significantly more likely to have disclosed their orientation to their physician than users of public and NGO services. Respondents held a preference for practitioners that were themselves gay/lesbian.The study tool was validated for use in the South African context; however redundancy could not be formally excluded from the questionnaire. Conclusions: Wsw from Cape Town experience internationally comparable exposures and risks of gynaecological problems. Further research is required to fully understand the healthcare needs of lesbian women living in lower socio-economic conditions. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Obstetrics & Gynaecology en_ZA
dc.title Trends of utilisation of reproductive health services by lesbian women in Cape Town en_ZA
dc.type Thesis / Dissertation en_ZA
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Health Sciences en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationname MMed en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image


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