Anal sex can feel really good (if you do it right), but it turns out butt play could have a seriously nasty side effect.
According to a new study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, anal sex is linked to an increased risk in fecal incontinence (you know, pooping your pants) in both women and men.
For the study, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Medicine analyzed data from the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, which included 4,170 adults ages 20 to 69, and they found that 37 percent of women said they had had anal sex (compared to approximately five percent of dudes).
Sadly, these ladies are more likely to experience fecal incontinence once a week than women who said they don't engage in anal sex, say the researchers. (Oh, and BTW, the researchers defined fecal incontinence as "leakage of mucus, liquid, and/or solid stool occuring at least monthly." Awesome.)
Overall, the rates of fecal incontinence were higher in women who reported having anal sex (9.9 percent) than those who didn't (7.4 percent). Men who reported having anal sex had a higher instance of butt drip than men who said they didn't, too.
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So how exactly does anal sex make you more, err, open to leaking poop? Here's the deal: "Anal intercourse could dilate and eventually stretch the internal and external anal sphincters leading to damage of these structures, as demonstrated by the lower resting pressure," write the study authors. "This lower pressure and possible damage to the internal and external anal sphincters could lead to FI [fetal incontinence] via muscle atrophy and sensory deficits."
One important fact worth pointing out: The study didn't look at how often someone engages in anal sex, so they can't say whether it takes just one time to up your chances or if it's something you have to do on a regular basis to be at risk. Also, other factors that can cause incontinence, like surgery, childbirth, and certain diseases, could be at play.
Still, you can get in on the butt action without damaging your precious derriere. Your best bet is doing kegels, which can help to strengthen your sphincter—and remember to always use lube to prevent painful tearing.