Many people have doubts about the safety of oral and anal sex during pregnancy. It can be safe but not totally as it may involve risks including sexually transmitted diseases that can spread from one person to another.
Are oral and anal sex safe during pregnancy?
Oral sex happens when one partner uses their mouth on another partner’s genitalia (vagina or penis) to stimulate a pleasurable response. It is still considered oral sex even if ejaculation or orgasm does not occur. It is generally safe during pregnancy if in a mutually monogamous relationship in which both have tested negative for STDs. For those having multiple sexual partners or choosing a new partner, there is a risk of contracting STDs. These can, later on, have a negative effect on pregnancy and developing fetus.
During pregnancy especially, it is important to make sure that while having oral sex the partner does not blow into the vaginal opening. It causes air to be trapped inside the vagina. This is because this bubble of air can travel and enter the placenta which can cause problems with fetal development. Also, the pressure differences caused by air being trapped in the vagina can lead to blood vessel rupture causing spotting or bleeding.
Anal sex happens when a male inserts a penis into another person’s anus. However, it can also include penetration of the anus with sex toys or fingers. Also, stimulation of the anus with the mouth or tongue. It is still considered anal sex if insertion happens but ejaculation or orgasm does not occur. Anal sex during pregnancy is not typically considered safe because –
- Pregnancy may cause hemorrhoids to form which can make anal sex painful or uncomfortable. It can also inflame the hemorrhoids or cause them to rupture. Anal bleeding can be serious especially during pregnancy.
- Some infections can cause problems during pregnancy like giardia and group b streptococcus.
- It increases the risk of contracting STDs many of which can cause serious complications for a developing fetus.
Can you get infected with STDs through oral or anal sex?
Yes, the transmission of STDs can occur through oral and anal sex. Anal sex can more easily damage tissue (tears in the lining of the anus or rectum) than during vaginal sex as the anus is not designed for any kind of insertion. So, the skin barrier that often protects against infection is broken and STDs can more easily enter the body. This means that transmitting std is more likely from anal sex than oral or vaginal sex.
Tips for oral and anal sex during pregnancy
Since STDs can still be spread through both oral and anal sex, it is a good idea to use physical protection like condoms to protect the partners. Since the skin of the anus and rectum is thin, prone to tears, and not well lubricated, it will be a good idea to use a water-based lubricant to protect delicate regions from tissue damage. However, a lubricant cannot completely prevent tearing or injury. With oral sex, no lubricant is suggested because most of it is not safe to ingest.
In anal sex, the lining of the anus and rectum is thin, so it may be easily damaged. Which then allows bacteria and other infectious agents to enter the bloodstream directly. This can increase the risk of certain rectum-related health issues. Anal sex involves risks like –
- Increases the chances of transmission of STDs
- It increases the risk of exposure to hepatitis a,b and c
- Increases the chance of developing anal cancer or anal warts
- Irritates, inflames, or ruptures existing hemorrhoids causing discomfort and anal bleeding
- Increases the risk of contracting digestive infections from bacteria, parasites, and amoebas that normally only exist in the digestive tract and do not cause problems otherwise
- Can cause fecal incontinence
- Causes urinary tract infections
Word of caution
If engaging in oral sex during pregnancy with a new sexual partner or outside of a mutually monogamous and disease-free relationship using a condom can help reduce the chances of contracting STDs through oral sex. Avoid anal sex during pregnancy.
Consult the doctor if during pregnancy you have–
- Pain during sex
- Heavy bleeding
- Leaking of amniotic fluid
- Painful cramps that do not go away
While having sex, get protection by using condoms to avoid STD transmission. Avoid blowing air into the vagina and avoid anal sex.
- oral and anal sex during pregnancy:: American pregnancy association
- sex during pregnancy: positions, benefits & safety tips (firstcry.com)