Risks of Anal Sex

Anal sex describes any form of sexual activity involving the anal area, which includes penetrating the anus with a penis, fingers, sex toys such as vibrators, or stimulating the anus using the tongue. This type of sex remains a taboo, despite its increasing popularity among teens and adults. If you are curious about anal sex, it is important that you understand the various risks before heading for your bedroom romp. Below are the common risks of anal sex.

• Risk of tears

Unlike the vagina, the anus is not elastic in nature to accommodate the penis. It also lacks the natural lubrication that the vagina has. As such, penetration can tear the anal tissues resulting in major tears. That said, it is important for those engaging in anal sex to use lubrication in plenty. The use of water-based lubricants, such as Astroglide and KY with latex condoms, is encouraged to enhance lubrication. Also, go slowly and stop if anything hurts or feels uncomfortable.

• Contacting STIs

Penetrative anal sex predisposes individuals to the highest risks of acquiring STIs compared to other types of sexual activities. Tears in the anal tissue eliminate the protective cell barriers in the region. The anal lining is also thin and can be easily damaged, making it vulnerable to infection.

Common bacterial and viral infections spread through anal sex include gonorrhea, herpes, chlamydia, hepatitis, HIV, HPV, and syphilis. Exposure to human papillomavirus may predispose the development of warts and anal cancer. Using latex condoms during anal sex can reduce these risks.

Of importance to note is that screening these STDs is difficult. The usual screening for infections often does not include anally transmitted infections. This makes it difficult to identify these infections at an early stage for possible treatment. You will also need to inform your doctor of your active anal sex to request these tests, something that most people often forget.

• Fecal Incontinence

A study concluded that women who engage in anal sex during their bedroom activities would likely experience changes in the consistency of their stools. Though with an incomplete etiology, anal sex causes both fecal and urinary incontinence.

• Pain and bleeding

Anal sex is generally not natural. Your partner will have to use excessive force to penetrate due to the rigid nature of anal muscles, unlike the flexible vaginal muscles. This process is not only painful but also leads to bleeding, resulting from the tears and lacerations incurred during forceful penetration.

Apart from the above-mentioned risks, anal sex carries other risks. For instance, the anus is full of bacteria. Therefore, even if you are free from STIs, practicing anal sex before vaginal sex may result in vaginal and urinary tract infections. Hemorrhoids are also another major concern. That said, practice various safety measures if you must practice anal sex.

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