Anal sex is the act of inserting a penis, fingers or a foreign object, such as a vibrator into the anus, for sexual pleasure. With proper precautions, anal sex is largely safe.
However, there are various potential risks that may not be present in vaginal or oral sex. For example, the anus cannot be lubricated naturally to reduce discomfort and friction issues, such as skin lesions.
This article will present some of the potential risks of anal sex, as well as the elimination of some myths related to the practice.
Increased risk of bacterial infection
The anus lacks the cells that create the natural lubricant that the vagina has. He also has no saliva in his mouth. The lining of the rectum is also thinner than that of the vagina.
Lack of lubrication and thinner tissues increase the risk of frictional fractures in the anus and rectum. Some of these tears can be very small, but still expose the skin.
Because the stool that naturally contains bacteria passes through the rectum and anus when leaving the body, bacteria can invade the skin through these tears. This increases the risk of anal abscesses, a deep skin infection that usually requires antibiotic treatment.
How to reduce the risk
To minimize these risks, a person should take some safety measures to prevent the skin from tearing:
Use a water-based lubricant to minimize frictional tears.
Change condoms if you go from anal to vaginal sex to avoid introducing different bacterial forms.
Move slowly until a person establishes sufficient lubrication.
Slow down or stop anal sex if a person is in pain or discomfort.
The use of spermicides may also increase the risk of anal irritation. People should avoid them during anal sex.
Increased risk of STIs
Because anal sex can lead to bacterial infections in the ways mentioned above, it can also increase the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). For example, because the skin is more likely to break during anal sex than during vaginal sex, there is a greater chance of spreading STIs.
These include chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis, HIV and herpes. These can be long-term conditions because many STIs do not have a treatment.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “anal sex is the most risky sexual behavior for HIV transmission” compared to other forms of sex, such as vaginal or oral sex. In anal sex, HIV is 13 times more likely to infect your partner than vaginal sexual activity.
To minimize the risk of STI transmission, a person should use a condom during anal sex. Attention should also be paid to the type of lubricant that partners use, as oil-based lubricants such as Vaseline can damage latex condoms.
Water-based lubricants are safer to use with condoms. There are several water-based lubricants, and everyone can choose one of them.
A 2016 article in Sexually Transmitted Infections suggests that using saliva as a lubricant is a risk factor for gonorrhea in men who have sex with men. Therefore, using a commercial lubricant may be a safer choice.
Condoms are not 100% effective in preventing STIs. The CDC recommends that those at high risk for HIV, such as people who have multiple sexual partners or who are in a relationship with someone who has HIV, consider taking pre-exposure prophylaxis. It includes a number of medications that can reduce a person’s risk of becoming infected with HIV.
More painful hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are areas of the blood vessels inside and outside the rectum that can cause itching, light bleeding and sometimes pain. While hemorrhoids can be unpleasant and painful, they are easy to treat and very preventable.
Anal sex can irritate existing hemorrhoids for some people. However, sex itself is not likely to cause hemorrhoids if a person has not already had them.
It is not always possible to prevent irritating hemorrhoids while having anal sex, but using enough lubricant can help minimize irritation.
A common myth is that a woman cannot get pregnant due to anal sex, watch videos with this type of sex on free porn. This is not entirely true, as semen may enter the vagina after anal sex.
It is important to use a condom when having anal sex to prevent pregnancy. If partners decide to switch from anal to vaginal sex, they should change condoms to reduce bacterial exposure.
Increased risk of fistula, a rare complication
In very rare cases, a rupture in the lining of the anus or rectum may increase. Doctors call this a crack or a big tear. Sometimes this tear is so large that it extends beyond the intestine to other parts of the body. Doctors call this fistula. A fistula can be an emergency medical situation because it allows the bowel movement to go to other parts of the body.
Because the stool naturally contains significant amounts of bacteria, having a fistula can introduce bacteria into other parts of the body, leading to infections and damage. Doctors usually suggest surgery to repair a fistula.
Again, this is a rare but potential complication of anal sex. For this reason, it is important to use proper lubrication and stop anal sex if pain occurs.
Are there long-term risks?
Some people believe that a possible risk of anal sex is that the rectum stretches in the long term and that this damage can lead to fecal incontinence. For the most part, medical experts disagree with this.
However, a 2016 study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology looked at the sexual behavior of 4,170 adults. The researchers asked the adults if they had ever had anal contact and if they had fecal incontinence.
They found that 37.3 percent of women and 4.5 percent of men had anal sex. They also found that rates of fecal incontinence were slightly higher among men and women who had anal intercourse compared to those who did not. Men who had anal intercourse had a higher rate of fecal incontinence than women.
The study led researchers to conclude that there is a potential link between fecal incontinence and anal sex. However, many experts criticized the study because they did not evaluate other factors that contribute to fecal incontinence.
Therefore, it is difficult for physicians and researchers to fully support the study and its results as evidence that fecal incontinence is a true possible long-term risk of anal sex.
In general, if people take precautions that include using a sufficient lubricant and abstaining from sexual intercourse if a person feels pain, they should not expect to experience fecal incontinence as a long-term complication of anal sex.
Anal sex can be a safe and pleasurable sexual option for some people. Taking precautions, such as using water-based lubricants, can minimize the risks. Communicating with a partner about any discomfort associated with anal sex can also reduce the risk of frictional injuries.
Also, those who are not in a monogamous sexual relationship or who want to avoid pregnancy should use condoms to reduce the risk of STI transmission and pregnancy.