Anal Sex is any stimulation of the anus meant to derive pleasure. It includes anal intercourse which is penetration of the anorectal canal with an erect penis. According to health professionals anus sex is the riskiest sexual behavior. The following are some of the reasons why anal sex is risky:
1. The tissue surrounding the anus and rectum is thin and easy to tear. In fact most of it is mucous membrane which is very prone to tears which cause complications such as fissures. The mucous membrane also plays host to many viruses such as the Human Papilloma Virus.
2. Under the mucous membrane which surrounds the anorectal canal is highly vascular tissue. This is tissue with very many blood vessels. This increases the risk of coming into contact with blood. Blood contact is a sure way of getting infected with diseases such as HIV/AIDS
3. Did you know that semen has immunosuppressive properties? This is meant to help the sperm evade the female defenses in the vagina to fertilize an egg. It lowers your defenses in the rectum making you even more prone to infections.
4. The sphincter muscles which surround the opening of the anus are not strong enough and can easily get damaged during anus sex. Damage to these muscles causes an inability to hold feces also called fecal incontinence.
5. Despite the name, the mucous membrane surrounding the anorectal canal produces no lubrication like a vagina. This makes it very prone to irritation by foreign objects which can lead to medical complications such as rectal prolapse and hemorrhoids.
6. The anorectal canal plays host to very many bacteria not meant for any other part of the body. Contact with these bacteria can cause very serious illness.
7. The rectum has a very high concentration of white blood cells. The HIV retrovirus reproduces within the T cells/cD4 cells of white blood cells. This makes infection of with HIV very likely in case of anal intercourse with an infected person due to the high viral load and concentration around the anorectal canal.
8. Most of the health complications caused by anal sex cannot be prevented by condoms. Even the rate of condom failure in anal sex is very high and only specific condoms are recommended for anal sex. Condoms can only protect you from infections during anal sex.
9. Anal cancers begin when normal cells in or around the anus begin to change and grow uncontrollably forming a mass called a tumor. A cancer is a malignant tumor meaning it can spread to other parts of the body destroying surrounding tissue. Symptoms include bloating, change in bowel habits, lump near anus, rectal bleeding or itching. Most anal cancers are caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Just like the HIV virus, the above properties of the rectum make it very easy for the transmission of the HPV virus. Anal cancer when diagnosed late usually leads to death.
10. HPV is a member of the papillomavirus family of viruses and is capable of infecting humans. The HPV virus establishes productive infections only in stratified epithelium or mucous membrane. The rectum is lined by a mucous membrane and most of the anus is covered by stratified epithelial skin. This makes the anorectal canal a good home for the HPV virus. Most of the nearly 200 strains of HPV cause no symptoms in people but some have visible ones such as warts. Some of the high risk strains of HPV have been associated with penile cancer, cervical cancer, vaginal cancer, vulva cancer and anal cancer.