Thursday 11 August 2022 11:37 PM Doctors' reluctance to discuss anal sex is letting women down as they are ... trends now
Doctors are putting young women at risk by failing to warn them about the harms of anal sex, researchers say.
Writing in the British Medical Journal, two female NHS surgeons claimed anal intercourse is becoming more common among straight couples because it is portrayed as 'racy and daring' in popular TV shows.
They said GPs and other doctors 'have a duty to acknowledge changes in society' and 'to meet these changes with open neutral and non-judgmental conversations'.
But medics are 'shying away' from flagging the risks due to 'societal taboos', which risks 'failing a generation of young women, who are unaware of the risks'.
Official estimates suggest more than a quarter of British and American women have tried anal sex with their male partners, either because they were curious, enjoy it or they felt pressured to.
But current NHS guidance on anal sex only considers only sexually transmitted diseases, omitting physical injury risks or the psychological trauma.
Writing in the BMJ, Dr Tabitha Gana and Dr Lesley Hunt said the style of intercourse can cause pain, bleeding, incontinence and long-term injuries.
More than a quarter of women in the UK and US now report having anal sex with their partners, with curiosity, enjoyment or pressure from partners driving the trend
Dr Gana and Dr Hunt - who are colorectal surgeons at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals - said anal sex has 'moved from the world of pornography to mainstream media'.
It has become more common among heterosexual couples, with 28.5 per cent of British women aged 16 to 24 saying they have done it.
The health service warns that anal sex carries a higher risk of transmitting sexually transmitted infections than other sexual activities.
This is because the lining of the anus is thin and can be easily damaged, which makes it more vulnerable to infection.
Inserting a penis, fingers or sex toy in the anus all count as anal sex.
It urged people to use condoms when having anal sex and use a new condom if having vaginal sex straight after.
But colorectal surgeons warn that the risk of anal sex goes further than STIs.