Anal Sex

Anal sex includes penetrating the anus with a penis, fingers, sex toys and vibrators and oral sex (stimulating the anus using the mouth or tongue, also known as rimming.

Although anal sex is typically associated with MSM (males who have sex with males) it is also common amongst heterosexual couples. Caution should be taken to protect oneself such as using condom for every sexual act.

Unprotected anal sex is high risk behaviour for contracting Sexually Acquired Infections. This is because the lining of the rectum is a thin membrane that can easily be torn or damaged during sex, making it more vulnerable to infection.  Anal fissures (small tears in the lining) may occur during intercourse. Fissures do not cause long-term damage to the rectum; however they will heal slowly and can be very painful. Furthermore, they increase the risk of infection entering the bloodstream. Avoid inserting objects which can perforate the intestine.

Anal sex may be painful for the person receiving it. The anus does not secrete lubrication as the vagina does, therefore it is important to use a water-based lubricant in order to prevent fissures. The anus absorbs water quickly, so lubricant should be applied frequently. Silicone-based lubricants would last longer, but they damage condoms.

Couples should use a new condom if they are having vaginal sex right after anal sex, so as to avoid the transmission of bacteria from the anus into the vagina, as this can cause infections.

Oral-anal contact increases the risk of transmission of E.coli which can cause gastroenteritis. Similarly, other strains of E.coli that can pass from the anus to the vagina can cause urinary infections and SAIs including Hepatitis A, B and C, HPV, gonorrhoea, Chlamydia and LGV.