Anal sex: Safe with baby-on-the-way?

Originally Published: October 17, 2003 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: January 23, 2009
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Dear Alice,

Is it safe to have anal sex while pregnant? Also, I've heard using an enema before anal sex can make it more comfortable. Is this safe while pregnant? My husband would love to have anal sex, and I'm willing to try it, but don't want to harm the baby in any way. If it is safe, any suggestions for making it more comfortable (i.e., creams, numbing lotions, lubrication...)? Please answer, I'm too embarrassed to ask my doctor, and would like to surprise my husband for his birthday next week. Thank you!

Dear Reader,

Well happy birthday to your husband. It's perfectly safe to have some good ol' anal sex, even with a bun in the oven. In fact, some couples prefer to have anal sex during pregnancy since the hormonal changes in a woman's body, the rearrangement of the uterus, or the pressure from the growing uterus on the bladder can make vaginal penetration uncomfortable. Later in pregnancy, using the back door can be less convenient since positions ideal for such an activity might be harder to manage. Also, as the baby's head engages more into the pelvis, things might be a little too crowded down there to bring another friend to the party.

As with any type of penetration, a couple of essentials to making it an enjoyable experience for both parties are communication and lubrication. Since it sounds as though you are trying an approach new to both of you, take it slowly, giving frequent progress reports. In addition, while many women produce enough vaginal lubrication to keep things moving smoothly, the anuses that can claim the same are few and far between. Be sure to be equipped with plenty of water-based lube and use it liberally during anal sex.

Some couples find that it makes them more comfortable to flush the pipes with an enema before beginning anal play; however, enemas should be used infrequently because they can irritate the anus and intestinal lining and disrupt your body's natural elimination rhythm. 

It's important to avoid switching from anal penetration to vaginal penetration without a thorough washing in between. Bacteria in the anus that cross into vaginal territory can lead to unpleasant and uncomfortable infections, which for an expectant mom, can be especially harmful and difficult to treat.

The bottom line: do what makes you comfortable. So long as you maintain an open dialogue, your anal sex adventure can be fresh and interesting for you both, not to mention an exciting birthday gift for your beau. And besides, if it doesn't work out, you can always get him a tie.

Wondering where you'll put the bow,

Alice