Anal sex has been described as a prevalent practice, which consistently occurs between young couples and adolescents.

According to the Centre for Disease Control “anal sex is primarily growing in popularity with couples under age 45.”

Also, a national survey reportedly revealed that 36 per cent of women and 44 per cent of men have had anal sex with an opposite-sex partner.

Anal sex is a common practice of inserting the penis, fingers or foreign objects, such as a vibrator, into the anus for sexual pleasure. But experts say that as pleasurable as this activity could be, it could be very risky and dangerous to health.

The Medical Institute for Sexual Health in a 2016 study on ‘the consequences of heterosexual anal sex for women’ explained that anal intercourse can lead to fecal incontinence – the inability to control bowel movements, causing faeces to leak unexpectedly from the rectum.

A consultant obstetrician and gynecologist at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Dr Olayinka Ogunbode, reiterated that anal sex can cause pain and increase risk of sexually transmitted diseases.

According to him, this is because the anus does not provide lubrication like the vagina and can easily tear and permit transmission of infections.

The American Cancer Society also revealed that “anal intercourse can increase the risk of anal cancer in both men and women, particularly in those younger than 30.”

The Medical Institute for Sexual Health, while declaring that  multiple sexual partners is a risk factor for anal cancer, added that Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of anal cancer and that anal intercourse could increase the likelihood of the virus attacking the anus or rectum.

“Anal sex is the riskiest sexual behaviour for getting and transmitting HIV for men and women,” the CDC stated in a news fact sheet on ‘Anal Sex and HIV Risk.”

It explained further that “vaginal sex has a lower risk, and activities like touching and kissing carry little to no risk for getting or transmitting HIV. The vast majority of men and women who get HIV get it through anal sex.”

The news fact sheet also disclosed the complexities of this activity and how risky it has become for both the insertive and receptive partners.

“During anal sex, the partner inserting the penis is called the insertive partner and the partner receiving the penis is called the receptive partner. The receptive partner is 13 times more likely to get infected than the insertive.”

“However, it is possible for either partners to get HIV through anal sex from certain body fluids like blood and semen of a person who has HIV,” the report stated.

Experts have also identified that in addition to all these risk factors, other diseases can be sexually transmitted from anal sex, like Chlamydia, gonorrohea, syphilis plus many other anomalies.

In a bid to reduce the risks of contracting these STDs and to avoid other medical complications arising from anal sex, men have been advised to employ the use of latex or polyurethane condoms and for women, experts say female nitrile condoms can prevent HIV and other STDs during sex.

“People who report using condoms consistently reduce their risk of getting HIV through insertive anal sex with an HIV-positive partner, on average, by 63 per cent and  receptive anal sex with an HIV-positive partner, on average, by 72 per cent, “ the CDC noted.

@ Nigerian Tribune

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