Anal sex is on the rise, and doctors warn 'we may be failing a generation of young women' by not telling them the risks

Anal sex is on the rise, and doctors warn 'we may be failing a generation of young women' by not telling them the risks
  • Anal sex is increasingly common for straight women, but they may not know the risks, UK colorectal surgeons say.

  • The surgeons warned of extreme injuries like fecal incontinence, anal tumors, and STIs.

  • Preparing for anal sex takes time, but it can prevent serious problems, a surgeon told Insider.

With an increasing number of straight women trying anal sex, colorectal doctors are warning of serious injuries their primary care doctors may overlook or avoid discussing.

In an August 11 editorial in the journal The BMJ, colorectal surgeons in Sheffield, England wrote that health professionals and government health organizations "may be failing a generation of young women" by skipping conversations about anal-sex safety. An estimated 30% of heterosexual women in the United States have had anal sex, according to a 2016 study.

Since women have more complex pelvic floor systems than men, anal-sex preparation and safety strategies are of increased importance, authors Dr. Lesley M. Hunt and Dr. Tabitha Gana wrote. Without them, there's an increased risk for sexually transmitted infections, fecal incontinence, anal tumors, they wrote.

Women also tend to have more fragile skin around their anus, making them more susceptible to injuries like anal fissures, bleeding, and pain, New York City-based anal surgeon Dr. Evan Goldstein told Insider.

Goldstein, who also founded anal sex care brand The Future Method, said stigma around anal sex as "dirty" or reserved for gay men stops people from correctly preparing and caring for themselves after butt play.

When done properly, anal sex can create intense pleasure. It's something more and more straight people are wondering about, according to Goldstein.

"What we find at our practice is that opposite-sex couples are so curious, and they're craving expert-led education around anal sex because they want to try it out, but they want to know how to do it the right way," Goldstein told Insider.

Improper anal sex could lead to trouble controlling your bowel movements

Anal fissures, or a small tear inside the anus, and outer anal tears are some of the most common anal-sex injuries, said Goldstein. Minor ones may go away on their own, but more serious cases may require surgery.

The authors of The BMJ editorial also warned of fecal incontinence, when a person loses control of their bowel movements. This can happen as a result of anal sex if penetration damages the anal sphincter muscle, which has nerves that regulate bowel-movement control. Treatment could include surgery, medications, and pelvic floor therapy.

To have safe anal sex, train your butthole over 6 weeks

According to Goldstein, most of these injuries can be prevented with some butt TLC.

For beginners, he suggested a dilator kit, which includes various sizes of butt plugs that train the anus to relax over time. Start with the smallest plug and wear it for three to five minutes at four to five centimeters inside the anus.

"It will take four to six times to insert because those muscles need time to relax," so be patient, he said.

Repeat every day for two weeks before graduating to the next size, Goldstein said. In total, it should take six weeks to prepare with three plugs.

Goldstein also said your diet is an important pre-anal consideration.

"If you know you're going to have anal sex, try steering clear of foods you know to upset your stomach, including coffee and oily or spicy foods," he said. Instead, eat high-fiber foods, which make bowel movements easier by bulking your stool, which encourages complete bowel evacuation.

Once you're having anal sex, use more lube than you think you need. Goldstein also suggested the person who is receiving penetration start on top, so they have control over the depth and speed.

Read the original article on Insider