By Dr. Umesh Mundada, Sexology
As per statistics, 90% of men who indulge in a sexual relationship with men and about 5% of women who are sexually active, try anal intercourse. Anal sex does have high health risks, as the anal region has a cluster of sensitive nerve endings, which may get affected during sex.
Thus, while for a few, anal sex may prove to be enjoyable, it does have its downsides and can lead to health concerns.
What are the health risks with regard to anal sex?
Anal sex is considered to be one of the most risky kinds of sexual activity because:
- One of the main reasons is that the anal region does not produce the natural lubricant, as the vaginal region does. Penetration can damage and tear the anal tissue, which can thus attract bacteria and other viruses to enter your bloodstream. This can thus lead to the easy spread of STDs. Research shows that you are 30 times more at risk of contracting HIV through anal sex.
- Moreover, the tissue underlying the walls of the anus is not as properly protected as the walls of the anus outside. The external tissue around the anal region is protected by dead cells, thus it is less prone to infection. Anal sex leaves the tissues inside more vulnerable.
- The function of the anus is to hold in faeces, thus it is made of ring-like muscles, known as anal sphincters, which tighten to release the faeces. Regular anal sex can loosen these muscles, making it difficult to hold back before you reach the loo.
- Because the anus holds faeces, it is a region which is filled with bacteria. Thus, even if you or your partners do not have an STD, the bacteria may infect your partner. In case you indulge in vaginal sex after anal sex, it can also lead to vaginal infections or UTIs.