can anal sex have any long term effects on my body? I’ve heard that it can cause anal leakage later in life, and anal prolapse. is this true?

No. Although most couples do not have anal intercourse, it can be perfectly healthy and safe in both the long and short term. As with vaginal intercourse, however, there is a very small risk of leakage and prolapse over the course of a lifetime. Anal intercourse can also aggravate existing hemorrhoids.

Couples who have anal sex should follow a few simple guidelines:

The anus does not usually produce enough lubrication for comfortable anal sex, so it’s important to use plenty of lubricant. Go slowly. Stop if anything hurts and let your partner know how you feel — sex that’s painful or uncomfortable should not continue.

Like unprotected vaginal intercourse, unprotected anal intercourse is high-risk for many sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis, herpes, HIV, HPV, and syphilis. People who have oral contact with the anus are at high risk of intestinal parasites and hepatitis, so good hygiene is very important.

Use latex or female condoms during anal intercourse to decrease the risk of sexually transmitted infections. Make sure to only use water-based lubricants — like K-Y jelly or Astroglide — with latex condoms. Using an oil-based lubricant, like Vaseline, can damage them and make them break.

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