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Like most sexual activities, anal sex carries the risk of passing on sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Anal sex is any type of sexual activity that involves the anal area (bottom). This includes:
Penetrative anal sex has a higher risk of spreading STIs than many other types of sexual activity. This is because the lining of the anus is thin and can easily be damaged, which makes it more vulnerable to infection.
STIs that can be passed on through anal sex include:
Some infections caused by bacteria or viruses can be passed on through oral–anal sex, such as hepatitis A or E. coli.
It's also possible to pass on an STI by inserting a finger into someone’s anus.
Use condoms to help protect you against STIs when you have penetrative anal sex.
Use a water-based lubricant, which is available from pharmacies. Oil-based lubricants (such as lotion and moisturiser) can cause latex condoms to break or fail. Get tips on using condoms properly.
Male and female couples should use a new condom if they have vaginal sex straight after anal sex. This is to avoid transferring bacteria from the anus to the vagina, which may lead to a urinary infection.
Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.