Important information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Until further notice all of our Queue & Wait, Test & Go and routine appointment services are suspended to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and to enable some of our staff to be re-deployed. Although we have limited capacity we are still trying to help as many people over the phone as we can and if you need to be seen in a clinic this can be arranged after you have spoken with one of our nurses.

Please call 01904 721111 (9am - 3pm) Monday to Friday to arrange a discussion with one of our clinical staff. If you feel the issue is URGENT e.g. you need emergency contraception, HIV post-exposure treatment or have new and significant symptoms, please let the booking team know. Our 'contact us' option on the website can be used but there may be some delays in responding to non-urgent queries. 

If you are under 18 or are living in a situation where you are unable to call us, please text us on 07980 973337. We will reply to you within 1 - 2 working days. If you feel your safety is at risk please contact the Police.

Clinic Closures -  we are currently only operating clinics in York, Selby, Harrogate, Scarborough, Northallerton, Catterick and Skipton - all other clinics are temporarily suspended.

Please note that ALL patients, visitors and staff are required to wear a mask or face covering in all NHS buildings. If you do not have your own face covering we can provide you with a mask when you attend your pre-arranged appointment. Thank you for your understanding.

ONLINE SERVICES - free condoms are available via the website for residents of York and North Yorkshire. Online testing is available for those most at risk of STIs or who have been advised to do a test

Close

For information on coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit https://www.yorsexualhealth.org.uk/coronavirus-corvid-19-information/

View navigation

LGBTQ

Lesbian, Bisexual and Women who have sex with Women

What does this mean? 

Lesbian: A woman who has a sexual and/or romantic attraction towards women. Some women choose to define themselves as gay instead of lesbian.

Bisexual: Someone who has sexual and/or romantic attraction to both women and men. It is often used as an umbrella term that can include any other orientations where there is attraction to more than one gender.

WSW: A woman who has sex with women.

Sexual health

Women who have sex with women are generally at lower risk from STIs, but low risk doesn't mean no risk, so it's still important to look after your sexual health. Any one-on-one contact, such as oral sex or using the same hand when touching yourself and then your partner, or even sharing sex toys can put you at risk.

The most effective way to make oral sex with a vagina safer is to use an oral sex dam, which is a very thin, soft plastic square used to cover the genitals during oral sex.

If you are using sex toys, you can prevent the transmission of STIs by covering it with a new condom each time you have sex (particularly between different partners) and using water based lube. Oil based lube can cause the condom to break It is important to clean your sex toys between sessions. How to do this will depend on what it is made of and if it used batteries or has parts that can’t be washed. Sex toys come with advice on how to clean them so it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. If your sex toys can be washed, you need to wash them thoroughly with warm water and soap after each use. 

STIs can be passed on through inserting fingers and hands into your partner (especially if you have any cuts on your hands) or by touching yourself and then your partner. This can be prevented by wearing latex gloves for digital penetration. Never re-use the gloves- use a new pair of gloves each time you have sex and use plenty of water based lube. If you are not using latex gloves, it is important you wash your hands before or after sex, particularly between touching yourself and touching your partner and vice versa.

Useful links and support

Yorkshire MESMAC: www.mesmac.co.uk

Stonewall: www.stonewall.org.uk

NHS lesbian health: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/LGBhealth/Pages/lesbianhealth.aspx