There are so many reasons to love anal sex. Historically, people choose anal not just for the intense, world-shattering orgasms, but also as a means to be creative with their urges. Additionally, there are benefits like a decreased risk of pregnancy.
Read on for what you need to know about having anal sex safely.
Does anal sex actually decrease the risk of pregnancy?
Anal sex cannot directly get you pregnant. There is no internal system in the anus that will fertilize the eggs when sperm is ejaculated. Usually, when sperm enters the vagina, the penis helps draw it up into the uterus and Fallopian tubes, which leads to pregnancy.
In rare cases, sperm can be spread from the anus to inside the vagina, if the sex becomes rather adventurous. Some wonder if sperm in the pre-ejaculation fluid can get you pregnant as well. Fortunately, sperm in pre-ejaculate is quite rare and would have to be directly deposited into the vagina to make you conceive.
Risks of anal sex
One risk of anal sex is the tearing of the skin around the anus due to the stretching and rhythm of penetration. “The anus is designed to hold in feces by way of a strong muscle called the anal sphincter, which is tightened until the release of feces is needed,” gynecologist Staci Tanouye says to Cosmopolitan. For this reason, the more you have anal sex, the more this area is stretched out and weakened. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the pleasures of anal sex — just be mindful of how your body works and remember, lube is your friend.
How to protect yourself
Anal sex can be safe and enjoyable as long as you are properly prepared. Use a new condom when switching from anal to vaginal sex, or vice versa. This prevents the spread of anal bacteria into the vagina.
Regardless of whether you’re trying to avoid pregnancy, you should always use some form of condom (external condoms or dental dams). Avoiding pregnancy does not protect you from contracting sexually transmitted infections, so always use the necessary contraceptives.