IS ANAL SEX SAFE
Since a lot of the information floating around out there about anal sex is purely anecdotal, rocketpleasure.com.au spoke with five doctors about whether or not you should get into butt play. Here’s what they told us.
Pro: It’s Relatively Safe
“Medically there no reasons not to have anal sex. Just follow safer sex practicesas you’re at a slightly higher risk for STI transmission. You also have to be mindful though of not having anal sex then vaginal sex without changing the condom.” —Michael Krychman, M.D.
“From a medical standpoint, anal sex is safe if you take the usual safe-sex precautions, such as condoms and dental dams, and loads of lube, since the anus is typically much tighter than the vagina. Many women enjoy anal play due to the incredibly rich nerve supply and heightened sensitivity and the added bonus of not having to worry about getting pregnant. On the flip side, many women are really turned off by anal sex and the fear of soiling themselves. Washing well and/or using an enema beforehand is an option that would make this less likely.” —Alyssa Dweck, M.D.
“Anal sex is so pleasurable to many women because our bodies really do have a very, very rich cluster of nerves surrounding the anus. There’s a reason why we like to be kissed on our lips more than on maybe our elbow, because our lips have more nerve endings. That said, if you’re engaging in anal sex, you have to take more precautions from an STD standpoint. If you’re not in a mutually monogamous relationship then you should absolutely be using condoms for protection. Any time people have intercourse, even vaginal, there could be microscopic tears, which is how people catch viral STDs. But if you use lubricant, you’ll reduce those tears, which could decrease your risk of transmitting a viral STD.” —Jennifer Gunter, M.D.
Con: There’s Increased Risk
“One concern about anal sex is related to the transmission of HPV. Certain strains of HPV do cause cancer, and with anal intercourse, HPV infections in this area can lead to anal cancer. There have been studies documenting that people who have had anal penetration by multiple partners are more likely to develop carcinoma of the anus, so be monogamous and use a condom. Other reasons to proceed with caution with anal sex is the risk of infection with E. coli. You can also develop urinary tract infections, as well as infections of the bowel from anal intercourse. Repetitive tearing and injury to muscles of the anus can affect someone’s ability to control their bowel movements, and can result in fecal incontinence or inability to hold stool effectively inside, until they make it to the bathroom. Although not common, a more serious injury such as a penetration or tear in the colon or bowel can occur, which would require an invasive surgery to correct.” —Karen Elizabeth Boyle, M.D., FACS
“Anal sex play cannot cause pregnancy, but it can easily pass infection. So if a condom breaks during anal sex, talk to a health care provider or your about STD testing. If you’re mainly having anal sex as a method of birth control, you can talk to the doctors while you’re there about getting on birth control so you don’t have to worry about pregnancy.” —Vanessa Cullins, M.D.
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