Psychology

Title

Reproductive and pregnancy experiences of diverse sexual minority women: A descriptive exploratory study

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Objectives This study sought to explore how sexual minority women (SMW) and heterosexual women compare in terms of reproductive history, with a particular focus on examining within-group differences among SMW. Methods Women were predominantly recruited through consecutive sampling during presentation for prenatal care in Toronto Canada, and Massachusetts, USA. In total, 96 partnered pregnant women (62 SMW, 34 heterosexual) completed an internet survey during 2013-2015. Results We found few significant differences in reproductive history outcomes when comparing SMW and heterosexual groups. However, when we compared male-partnered SMW to female-partnered SMW, we found potentially important differences in rates of miscarriage and pregnancy complications, indicating that partner gender may be an important contributor to differences in reproductive history among SMW. Conclusions for Practice These findings highlight the need to recognize the unique health risks with which male-partnered SMW may present. Considering that this group is often invisible in clinical practice, the findings from this exploratory study have important implications for providers who treat women during the transition to parenthood. Future research should further examine the differences in social and health access within larger samples of SMW groups, as well as seek to understand the complex relationships between sexual identity and perinatal health for this understudied group of women.

Publication Title

Maternal and Child Health Journal

Publication Date

2019

Volume

23

Issue

8

First Page

1071

Last Page

1078

ISSN

1092-7875

DOI

10.1007/s10995-019-02741-4

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