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Sexual Health Center

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Anal Sex Safety and Health Concerns

Is Anal Sex Safe? continued...

Anal sex can carry other risks as well. Oral contact with the anus can put both partners at risk for hepatitis, herpes, HPV, and other infections. For heterosexual couples, pregnancy can occur if semen is deposited near the opening to the vagina.

Even though serious injury from anal sex is not common, it can occur. Bleeding after anal sex could be due to a hemorrhoid or tear, or something more serious such as a perforation (hole) in the colon. This is a dangerous problem that requires immediate medical attention. Treatment involves a hospital stay, surgery, and antibiotics to prevent infection.

Preventing Anal Sex Problems

The only way to completely avoid anal sex risks is to abstain from anal sex. If you engage in anal sex, it is always important to use a condom to protect against the spread of infections and diseases.

Following are more tips for increasing anal sex safety:

  • Avoid inserting a penis into the mouth or vagina after it's been inserted in the anus until your partner puts on a new condom.
  • Use plenty of lubricant to reduce the risk of tissue tears. With latex condoms, always use a water-based lubricant.
  • Relax prior to insertion of the penis to help reduce the risk of tears. Taking a warm bath before anal sex or lying on your stomach may make insertion easier.
  • Stop if anal sex is painful.
  • If you experience bleeding after anal sex or you notice a sores or lumps around the anus or a discharge coming from it, see your doctor as soon as possible.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by William Blahd, MD on November 19, 2015
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