Ask A Gynecologist: 'What Do I Need to Know About Having Anal Sex?'

Dr. Shepherd breaks down the dos, donts and beyond.

Finally, we're bringing you very public answers to some of your most private questions. When sexual and vaginal health concerns arise, OB/GYN and nationally known women's health expert Dr. Jessica Shepherd wants to ensure you have the answers you need to feel at ease. As the founder of Her Viewpoint, an online women's health forum, she uses this outlet to focus on addressing taboo topics in a comfortable setting. Prepare to take notes!

Q: What are the best practices for enjoying anal sex?

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A: When choosing to have anal sex it is important to remember: it is different than the vaginal opening in the aspect that it doesn't have as much elasticity. You have to make sure that the anus is well lubricated and ensure that your partner is well aware of your comfort level with that, because sometimes it can initially be more painful than you would expect.

Another important part to remember is that it is still considered sexual intercourse. Many people think it's just penile vaginal is considered sexual intercourse but anal sex is considered sex and oral sex is considered sex as well. With that being said, you really should protect yourself by wearing a condom. It is still very important. Someone needs to wear a condom because you can contract sexually transmitted diseases even if it's anal sex.

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Symptoms may be the same if you have contracted an STD or STI. You could have bleeding or spotting from the anus. Also, you can have discharge or pain even days later. It's important to take all of these things into account before choosing to have anal sex. You should also make sure you practice complete cleaning measures.

Have a question for Dr. Shepherd? Email us now.

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