Finger from anus into vagina: Okay?

Originally Published: March 24, 2000 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: December 15, 2006
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Dear Alice,

Is it bad to finger the vagina after using the same finger that has been in the anus?

— Wondering

Dear Wondering,

Yes, because the finger that has explored the depths of the anal cavity has probably picked up some E. coli bacteria on its travels. E. coli from the colon that somehow gets into the urethra is the most common cause of urinary tract infections (UTIs). If you're giving them a lift, you're increasing your and/or your partner's risk of a UTI.

But don't despair! You've got a handful of options:

  • Thorough hand-washing between holes can keep the bacteria at bay — a little soap and some careful lathering should do the trick.
  • Latex fingercots (cute finger-size condoms) or latex gloves can be used for anal play and removed when you want to switch to the front.
  • Nail biters might have an advantage here: short fingernails are easier to keep clean and also less likely to damage the delicate nether regions. If you've got longer fingernails, you could either keep them short or make sure to pay extra attention to them while you're soaping up.
  • Dedicate one hand to anal play, and switch to the other hand when you're ready to move forward.

Whatever your method, minimizing bacterial spread during your finger fun will probably help keep you and/or your partner healthier and happier.

Alice