Without mincing words, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed anal sex as “the riskiest sexual behavior for getting and transmitting HIV for men and women.” In addition to that, the agency authoritatively states that anal sex may expose persons who are involved in it to other sexually transmitted diseases or other infections. This risky sexual practice is heightened without the use of condoms during sexual intercourse.

Anal sex has been associated with ancient civilization as depicted in artworks and archaeological findings and is presently a common form of sexual intercourse too. Anal sex involves the insertion or thrusting of an erect penis, natural or man-made, into the anus or the anorectal region of another person for sexual pleasure. Fingering the anus and performing oral sex in and around the anus are included in anal sex. Though synonymous with homosexual relationships, anal sex is also associated with heterosexual intercourse also.

Reasons People Desire Anal Sex

Apart from sentimental reasons that could include perversion and forceful initiation into the act, the desire for anal sex can be said to have a lot to do with the body anatomy.

The anal region is packed with nerve endings. The pudendal nerve of the perineum between the legs supplies nerves that course through the genitals and anal region. The peroneal nerve, a branch of the pudendal nerve, serves as the dorsal nerve of the clitoris in women, and the dorsal nerve of the penis in men. It gives sensation to the anal opening in both sexes, especially the scrotum and the labia. The prostate in men can be elicited with pleasure when there is an indirect stimulation of the organ during anal sex.

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The Vulnerability Of The Anorectal Region Through Anal Sex

The tissues of the anus and the rectum are thin and delicate, lacking natural lubricants; and so, can tear way too easily during anal sex. This can provide access for the transmission of diseases. Furthermore, the anus is a containment of bacteria, meaning that the bacteria in the anus can infect the person giving the anal sex and also can be introduced into the vagina of a female recipient if anal sex preceded vaginal sex.

Giving oral stimulation to the anus is scientifically proven to put both the giver and the receiver at a great risk for contracting hepatitis, herpes, and the human papillomavirus.

Rectal fluid produced in the rectum of HIV positive persons contains the human immunodeficiency virus. During sex, the person whose penis is inserted into the anus and rectum is susceptible to contracting HIV on contact with the fluid secreted by the rectum.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases And Anal Sex

Chlamydia

The mere contact of the anus with the tongue or penis can give a person chlamydia if the anus is infected with the bacteria. Likewise, receiving anal sex from a person with an STD puts one at a risk of getting chlamydia. Symptoms of chlamydia include:

  • Bloody discharge from the anus
  • Inflammation of the anus and rectum
  • Itchy anus
  • Painful defecation

Gonorrhea

Condoms do a good job in protecting people from contracting STDs – including gonorrhea. Unfortunately, it does not give absolute protection from gonorrhea. Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the harmful organism that causes gonorrhea, can be found in the surfaces of the urethra of the penis, and the rectum.

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Fondling a gonorrhea-infected penis with the hand and thereafter inserting the fingers used into the anus and the rectum of another can pass on gonorrhea. Sharing a sex toy for anal sex can be an avenue through which gonorrhea can spread just as rubbing the penis against the anus or buttocks can have the same result.

Symptoms of gonorrhea include:

  • Inflammation of the anus
  • Swelling of the anorectal region
  • Discharge of pus from the anus

Herpes Simplex Virus Infection

Direct contact with the herpetic sores on the mouth, penis, or the anorectal region can spread the herpes simplex virus infection. Even when there are no visible sores, the virus can be transmitted from an infected person to a sexual partner through anal intercourse.

Human Papillomavirus

Anal sex has been heavily linked to anal cancer caused by the human papillomavirus most especially in HIV positive persons and those with multiple sexual partners.

Syphilis

Syphilitic chancres can be present on the penis, around the anus, and in the rectum of an infected person. Skin to skin contact with such sores as well as anal penetration during anal sex puts one at a risk of getting infected. Some persons infected with the tertiary stage of syphilis have no obvious symptoms or sores, yet, they can still pass on the disease during sexual intercourse.

Ways To Keep Safe From STDs Through Anal Sex

  • Use a latex condom when having anal sex if you are not in a mutually monogamous relationship
  • Before having vaginal sex after an anal insertion, change the condom or wash the penis
  • Even without symptoms, sexually transmitted diseases can be spread.
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Finally, as a sexually active person, make it a point of duty to get tested for STDs. Using a rapid home test kit makes it more convenient and easy to do.