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Can I Get Pregnant If I Have Anal Sex?

My boyfriend wants to have anal sex without a condom. Can I get pregnant?
Lauren*

Getting pregnant through anal sex is unlikely. In theory, it's possible that it could happen if semen from the anus gets into the vagina.

With anal sex, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a much bigger worry than pregnancy. The risk of getting an STD like HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) is even higher with anal sex than vaginal sex. That's because the lining of the rectum is thin and can tear easily, allowing infection to get into your body.

If you decide to have anal sex, use a condom every time. Because there is less lubrication with anal sex, condoms are more likely to break than with vaginal sex, so use a lot of water-based lubricating gel (available from drugstores).

Even if your boyfriend thinks he's STD free, he may not be. Lots of people can have STDs without knowing it. Even if they don't have symptoms themselves, they can still pass STDs on to a partner. So protect yourself with a condom whenever you have any type of sex — vaginal, oral, or anal. It's also a good idea to get tested for STDs at least once a year and whenever you have a new partner.

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

Reviewed by: Amy W. Anzilotti, MD
Date Reviewed: 04-11-2020

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