Some shitty news for anyone who enjoys anal sex: a new study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Medicine found that having anal might increase "bowel problems" like incontinence and leakage.
Using data from the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, the researchers found that 37 percent of women and 5 percent of men reported "trying" anal sex at least once. These numbers seem a bit off to me — according to a large-scale sexual activity study Cosmopolitan.com reported on in 2011, 36 percent of women and 55 percent of men reported having anal sex. But anyway. According to this UAB data, women who admitted to giving anal a try were then found to be 50 percent more likely than their non-anal sex having peers to experience fecal incontinence at least once a month. But among men that number's even bigger: their odds of incontinence after anal sex tripled, compared to other men.
If you're wondering what, exactly, "fetal incontinence" means, the researchers have defined it for you. This is your chance to stop reading if you have a weak stomach. In the survey, incontinence was referred to as a "leakage of mucus, liquid, or stool" that happened at least monthly. Although most adults who reported having incontinence after anal sex only experienced it in "occasional bouts of diarrhoea," all of this still sounds incredibly terrible and nightmarish and potentially embarrassing.
To make matters even worse, the incontinence and leakage problems can happen to people regardless of how many times they've actually had anal sex. So even if you've just like, dabbled in anal, even if you've just tried it one time, you could still have be at an increased risk for… "bowel problems."
"The study did not provide data on the frequency of the practice of anal intercourse and the impact of incontinence, but it did show a relationship between the practice of anal intercourse and fecal incontinence — more so among men than women," said lead study author, Alayne Markland. "What we don't know is whether someone who has anal intercourse one or two times is at the same increased risk for fecal incontinence as someone who has anal intercourse regularly."
But also, if anal sex is something you like to do regularly or just sometimes, don't take this as reason to deadbolt the backdoor forever. This data's pretty new — Markland said this study is important because researchers and doctors still don't know very much about the connection between anal sex and incontinence, so fornicate however you please, but maybe be aware of the risks beforehand and proceed with caution.
And if all else fails, anal kegel exercises are a thing and work wonders when it comes to preventing leakage. Tell us that's not a solution.