What are the advantages and disadvantages of anal sex?

Ask The Doctor > Sex > What are the advantages and disadvantages of anal sex?

Patient: I’ve had anal sex several times but mostly without any condoms (for first time sex and no vaginal sex yet) and for now I may have it once a week. I heard about the cancer that I might get later or other kinds of diseases but I want to know about the disadvantages and diseases more detailed and whether I can still keep on having anal sex or should I stop doing it? If it is okay to have anal sex what are the Do’s and Don’t’s?

Doctor: In my professional opinion anal sex is considered a risky activity. An advantage of anal sex would be not getting pregnant. The disadvantages would be: rectal tears (which can be painful and makes it easier for infections to reach the bloodstream; this also facilitates transmission of STDs like HIV, HPV, Herpes, gonorrhoea, etc), allergic proctitis (inflamed rectum as a result of lubricants), some will have severe anal pain after sex, etc. Bear in mind that the anus is the passageway of stools; stools have billions of coliform bacteria and most, if not all of these kinds of bacteria, can potentially invade the bloodstream and cause serious, life-threatening infections (e.g. E. coli). If you are practicing anal sex, make sure to apply lubricants before anal intercouse and always use condoms.  Make sure the lubricant label says “condom compatible” because some lubricants can tear condoms.

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Dr. Jimmy Obaji M.D.

Dr. Jimmy Obaji completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Manitoba. He currently operates a walk-in-clinic in downtown Toronto.

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