Birmingham LGBT is set to launch a new sexual health clinic for LBQ+ women this month.
What is the Well Woman Clinic?
On Wednesday 7 February, Birmingham LGBT, in partnership with Umbrella sexual health services, will open its doors to the Well Woman Clinic, a dedicated sexual health and wellbeing clinic specifically for lesbian, bisexual and queer women.
The clinic will run on the first Wednesday of every month, from 4pm to 7pm. The new initiative will offer a range of professionally delivered clinical services. These will be NHS nurse-led and supported by Birmingham LGBT’s dedicated Lesbian & Bisexual Women’s Outreach Worker.
The clinic will provide a space for lesbian, bisexual and queer women to access:
· STI and HIV testing
· STI treatment
· One-to-one advice and support
· Cervical cytology (smear testing)
· Free dams, gloves, condoms and lube
· Access and referral to a range of other services
The clinic is a free, confidential and accessible space for all women who identify as LBQ+ or have sex with other women.
Why is this service needed?
Sexual health services have often sidelined lesbian, bisexual and queer women. This has meant that many feel unable to access the health and wellbeing services they may need. It has also perpetuated the myth that LBQ+ sex is risk-free.
Alongside this, many LBQ+ women have reported that their sexual orientation and sexual practice has been presumed or misunderstood by healthcare professionals, making it difficult to access correct and adequate support.
Lu Skerratt, Birmingham LGBT’s Lesbian and Bisexual Women’s Outreach Worker, said: “Here at Birmingham LGBT we are proud to be helping level out the health inequalities faced by LBQ+ women through the Well Woman Clinic. I’m really enthusiastic about my role and can’t wait to get stuck in.”
As well as supporting NHS clinical staff to facilitate the Well Woman Clinic, Lu’s role also includes promoting, educating, supporting and encouraging women to access sexual health & wellbeing services, both at the LGBT Centre and out and about on outreach.
Lu also provides lesbian, bisexual and queer women with access to one-to-one support and can facilitate direct referral into other services where needed. Through identifying and challenging the real or perceived barriers that lesbian, bisexual and queer women may face when accessing healthcare, she is able to provide LBQ+ women with the support, information and advice relevant to their specific sexual health needs.
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