Anal sex — Pregnant?

Dear Alice,

Last night, my girlfriend and I had anal sex without a condom. She is a virgin.

Is there a probability for her to get pregnant?

I would appreciate a lot your help.

Worried Boy

Dear Worried Boy,

Strictly speaking, sperm entering the anus can't lead to pregnancy. The only way someone might possibly become pregnant from anal play is if ejaculated semen is near the vulva or vaginal opening and that semen happens to work its way upwards into vagina. Otherwise, there is no chance of conception with anal sex. Is there more to learn more about the anatomy involved? Butt of course!

The anal opening leads to the rectum (the storage area for feces prior to defecation), which is one segment of the large intestine. The large intestine is an organ that is part of the exclusive and fully-enclosed gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which is essentially a long tube from the mouth to the anus. The ovaries, vaginal canal, cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes (where fertilization can occur) are part of a physically divided set of organs that comprise the female reproductive system. Also — note that while the medical establishment typically refers to these organs as the female reproductive system, not everyone who has these organs identifies as female.

The GI tract isn't directly connected with the reproductive tract; therefore, sperm entering the anus cannot swim through the GI tract to reach the egg in the reproductive tract. Similarly, sperm entering the mouth can't cause pregnancy.

While pregnancy might not be a top concern, if you or your partner are ever unsure of your sexually transmitted infection (STI) status, it's wise to use safer sex techniques (such as a condom) during anal sex or any other sexual activity. If you're worried about semen accidentally coming in contact with the vulva or vagina, a condom can help reduce that risk (and hopefully some of your worries as well!).

Last updated Mar 06, 2020
Originally published Jan 10, 1997

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