Rise in popularity for anal sex leads to health problems for women

Women in the UK are said to be suffering more health problems and injuries as a result of a rise in anal sex popularity, NHS surgeons have warned.

Two top surgeons have warned that a doctors reluctance to talk over the risks associated with anal sex are leading to women being harmed.

Consequences listed in the British Medical Journal include incontinence and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as well as bodily trauma, pain and bleeding from anal sex encounters.

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But two top surgeons, Tabitha Gana and Lesley Hunt, argue that doctors too embarrassed to talk over the issues are leading to more problems than normal.

Writing in the journal, the pair say that "anal intercourse is considered a risky sexual behaviour because of its association with alcohol, drug use and multiple sex partners".

The journal also notes that "within popular culture it has moved from the world of pornography to mainstream media" such as the Phoebe-Waller Bridge-written series Fleabag or comedy-drama Sex and the City.

Shows such as that, the journal claims, have made anal sex seem "racy and daring".

The report also said that women who engage in anal sex are at greater risk than men, with increased rates of "faecal incontinence and anal sphincter injury" reported.

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The report continued: "Women are at a higher risk of incontinence than men because of their different anatomy and the effects of hormones, pregnancy and childbirth on the pelvic floor.

"The pain and bleeding women report after anal sex is indicative of trauma, and risks may be increased if anal sex is coerced."

The surgeons added, though, that doctors and GPs are less likely to talk about anal sex and that they are subsequently "failing a generation of young women," The Guardian reported.

Professor of sexual health and HIV Claudia Estcourt called for doctors to talk openly about anal sex, saying that the BASHH organisation "calls for careful, non-judgmental inquiry about anal sex in the context of women with anal symptoms."

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