Anal sex. What is your STD risk?

Anal sex, not only consist of penile insertion into the anus (bottom) but also allowing your partner to use his mouth on the anus (anulingus) or insertion of fingers and sex toys into the anus.

It is highly recommended to use condoms and lube during anal sex to reduce the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

What are the STD’s that you can potentially get from anal sex?



Chlamydia and Gonorrhea

The reason why we clumped them together in this article is because chlamydia and gonorrhoea can present with similar symptoms and may present together in certain patients. These bacteria’s can present in a few ways:


Anal Discharge.

Discharge is a term used when liquid is seen coming out of the anus. This is usually very minimal and patients usually notice small amount of stains on their underwear. In very rare situations, the volume maybe high and appear yellow in colour. see more of Rectal Gonorrhea


Anal Discomfort.

Patients usually present with mild discomfort in the anal region and some of them describe it as a feeling of constant urge to poo. It is never painful, and if patients present with severe pain, it is usually due to hemorrhoids or a tear at the opening of the anus.


Anal Bleeding.

This is very rare. If patients present with bleeding, it is usually due to piles or a tear at the opening of the anus.


Lower urinary tract symptoms.

The insertive partner (or top) may present with burning sensation when passing urine, urethral discharge, an increase in urinary frequency, waking up in the middle of the night to pass urine and the feeling of incomplete bladder emptying. However, keep in mind a large proportion of men may not show these symptoms.

It is best to get tested via anal swab or urine test for these bacteria if you have had an exposure as it can be easily treated with antibiotics.

Check out other prostate infection and inflammation


Human papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is in fact one of the most common STD’s out there but is less well known. It is usually transmitted through skin to skin contact, through contact with infected mucous membranes or bodily fluids. In other words, condoms will not protect you from this virus. There are many different strains and can cause anal cancer and cauliflower-like growths in the anus and surrounding skin. It is recommended to see a doctor to screen for anal warts, or other genital warts because some warts may be inside the anus and may not be visualised externally. The warts can be treated and you should see a men’s health doctor if you have any suspicious lumps.

It is highly recommended for men who engage in anal sex to get the HPV vaccine.



There are 2 kinds of herpes virus, HSV type 1 and HSV type 2. These viruses can be easily passed through skin to skin contact, which means condoms have a very limited to negligible role in reducing the transmission. They usually present in the area of contact with multiple, small and painful ulcers or blisters within a week or sometime months after an exposure. If there is any suspicion, the doctor will perform a dry swab to diagnose the lesion. Unfortunately, there is not cure but there is treatment available for flares.


Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum Contagiosum is caused by a virus call Poxvirus and presented with lesions that may appear anywhere on the body. The lesions are small, raised nad usually white or flesh-coloured with a dimple or pit in the center. The size can range from 2 to 5 mm in diameter and may be itchy or sore. This virus can be passed through skin to skin contact or thru contaminated materials such as clothing, towels, pool equipments or even toys. The good news is that these lesions usually do not cause long term medical problems and can be easily treated.




This an STD which is transmitted thru any form of sexual contact. It is caused by a bacteria known as Treponema pallidum. This disease can present in many ways, from a single, big and painless ulcer in the area of sexual contact, to rashes around the body and palms. In certain cases, they can cause an infection in the brain and spinal cord. This symptoms can present any time between 9 to 90 days after being infected. The good thing is this disease is usually curable with antibiotics. See more of Syphilis and men-who-have-sex-with-men



The riskiest sexual behaviour for getting and transmitting HIV in men is anal sex. The receptive anal sex in much riskier as the bottom partners risk is 13 folds higher than the insertive partner. This virus can pass through blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid (Pre-cum) or rectal fluids.

This risk is higher when recreational drugs are used.

Condoms and HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), if used consistently can reduce the risk of getting HIV significantly. The condom reduces the risk of getting HIV by 63% for the insertive partner and 72% for the receptive partner, if they engaged in anal sex with a HIV infected partner.

Yes it is not 100%!!. PrEP can reduce the risk of getting HIV by more than 90%. If you think you have been potential exposed to the virus and did not use a condom, you can see a doctor within 72 hours of the exposure to start the HIV post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) treatment.

If you think you have had an exposure to HIV or any form of STD thru risky sexual activity, it is recommended you get tested and seek treatment early to reduce any untoward complications and risk of passing it to your partner.



Take Care!




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