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Bisexual or Questioning? Don’t Skip the Birth Control

Bisexual or Questioning? Don’t Skip the Birth Control

A new study shows that for women who sleep with both men and women, birth control may be extra important.

Being a woman who sleeps with other women doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t need to think about birth control. In fact, a new study shows that birth control may be especially important for bisexual women and women who identify as straight but have had female partners (we’ll be saying WSW—women who have sex with women—for the purposes of this article).

The study from Harvard University looked at over 6,400 girls starting when they were between the ages of 9 and 14—all the girls were children of nurses who participated in the massive national Nurses’ Health Study. The researchers kept in touch with the girls for up to 11 years, learning about their health, sexual orientation, birth control use, and pregnancies.

  • About 15% of the young women in the study reported they were bisexual or WSW—and these participants were more than twice as likely to get pregnant as teenagers (4-9%) compared to their heterosexual peers (2%).
  • The 1% of the young women in the study who reported they were lesbian were no more likely to have a teen pregnancy (3%) than those who reported that they were heterosexual.
  • Bisexual and WSW reported using a method of hormonal birth control more often (79-89%) than their heterosexual peers (68%), though the study didn’t ask whether the women stuck with their methods or used them correctly.
  • The study didn’t factor in whether the young women had had sex for the first time yet—and we know from national research that less than half of teens have.
  • In general, and maybe partly because these young ladies are the children of nurses, they had high birth control use and low accidental pregnancy compared to the national average.

It could be that bisexuality or sleeping with women is related to something else that we already know increases the risk of an accidental pregnancy—like less access to effective birth control or having sex for the first time at a younger age. Even without knowing all the answers to these questions, this study does show that bisexual and WSW may especially benefit from birth control to prevent accidental pregnancies. So be aggressive about finding a method that works for your life—no matter who lights your fire.


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Read more: Dating, Health, Health & Safety, Pregnancy, Relationships, Sex, Sexual Health, Women's Health, , , , , ,

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Everyone should have the life they want, when they want it. And until someone is ready to have a baby, we believe they should have access to birth control. That’s where we come in. Bedsider makes birth control easier. How? By giving you everything you need to find it, get it, and use it well.


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4:05AM PDT on Apr 4, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

4:14AM PST on Feb 21, 2014

I'm a bit unsure about this article and the data presented. But nonetheless, prevention and safe sex are obviously always important, no matter the gender of the people involved.

11:27AM PST on Feb 8, 2014

And people pay to go to Harvard?

1:16AM PST on Feb 3, 2014

Thank you :)

7:03AM PST on Feb 1, 2014

Protecting yourself against pregancy & STDs is important whomever you're having sex with. I can't believe that the LGBT community are too stupid to realise this.

5:21PM PST on Jan 25, 2014

Interesting but I cannot understand it.

1:57AM PST on Jan 23, 2014


12:56AM PST on Jan 22, 2014


6:54PM PST on Jan 21, 2014


12:48PM PST on Jan 20, 2014

I got confused by the article, as it sounded like they were more likely to use birth control than their heterosexual counterparts. Regardless, use protection especially when single. And what about bi men? Do they use more protection? Thanks.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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I find this study too simplistic. They did not do a cross-check against known relevant factors in ob…

I've been enjoying rice milk, then later oat milk on my muesli for a few years now


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