Contrary to widespread beliefs that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, plus (LGBTQ+) women do not need contraceptive care, sexual minority women (SMW) engage in vaginal-penile sexual contact which puts them at risk for unintended pregnancy. SMW assigned female gender at birth are at higher risk for less reliable and consistent contraceptive use and thus unintended pregnancy (Everett et al., 2017). This leads to the question of factors which cause SMW to be less engaged in contraceptive services. Through synthesis of studies addressing SMW and contraceptives, four themes developed: attitudes towards contraception, obstacles to care, knowledge gaps, and ways to improve care. Contraceptive providers and organizations were perceived to be geared toward heterosexual contraceptive needs, thus leaving SMW feeling unincluded and consequently not participating in or reaping benefits of contraceptive education and use. Health care providers need to increase their knowledge of LGBTQ+ behaviors and the spectrum of sexual orientations, as well as increase their use of inclusive language. Providers should not assume that a patient does not require contraception based on their sexual orientation alone, conversations should include sexual preferences and behaviors to determine which contraception options are appropriate for each patient regardless of stated sexual orientation. Providers also lacked basic knowledge about transgender male's contraceptive needs and fertility. This literature review highlights the need for further research on effective communication for providers as well as targeted contraceptive interventions for LGBTQ+ individuals. The literature review also shows the need to further examine racial SMW experiences and needs for contraceptive care.


Sandra Eggenberger

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing


Allied Health and Nursing



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In Copyright