You've realized by now you can get STIs in and on your genitals and around the mouth, but you might not have given as much thought to your behind. As STIs can be passed through physical and skin-on-skin contact, it's definitely worth considering, especially if you're having anal sex or using any sorts of anal sex toys with a partner. When it comes to having safe sex, it certainly extends to the anus as well, as STIs CAN actually be transmitted through anal sex, Los Angeles-based OBGYN Dr. Yvonne Bohn told POPSUGAR. Here's what you need to know.
Yes, It's Possible
You can get STIs in your butt, as well as in your eyes and throat, even, adds Bohn. If you have oral sex, you can get them in the throat, and if you touch your eyes during sex, they can spread, too. "Chlamydia is spread by droplets of either vaginal, cervical, or penile secretions, so if you have a droplet on your hand and touch your eye you can get chlamydia in your eye," Dr. Bohn says.
Passing an STD to the anus is just as easy. "If you have anal sex you can get condyloma or genital warts around your anus from contact," she says. "Genital warts are caused by the HPV virus. If you have sex with someone who has genital warts, the virus can spread to your skin. The warts can occur anywhere on the skin of the vulva, perineum, or skin around the rectum."
Herpes can spread if there's an outbreak on the penis and there's a lesion present that a condom can't cover. (If it can cover it, you're protected.) You'll probably notice symptoms on the penis, so make sure you or your partner knows about them before having anal sex. "Herpes lesions are painful sores. They are usually about the size of a pencil eraser; you would know you have this. Herpes typically causes a distinct type of outbreak: small water-like blisters that burst and leave raw eroded areas that are very painful," she says.
"Similarly, human papilloma virus (HPV) is a virus that is spread by touch from one infected organ to another: penis to vagina, vagina to vagina, penis to anus. If undetected and untreated, human papilloma virus can grow into cancerous lesions," she says.
What Happens to the Anus
If you end up getting an STD in your anus, the symptoms are similar to STIs elsewhere. "Most people with anal issues will have either bumps or sores around the buttock. Herpes lesions near the anus are the same as lesions anywhere else; they come and go," she says. "On average, people with herpes have 1-3 outbreaks per year, and they are noticeable. Herpes lesions come as outbreaks. Warts need to be removed or treated to go away," she says.
As for treatment, these lesions are treated in a similar manner, as if they occurred elsewhere. "Treatment for genital herpes is antiviral medication like Valtrex and Acyclovir. These medications can be taken once a lesion starts to decrease the pain and help the lesion heal faster," she says. "It can also be taken daily to prevent outbreaks."
As for warts, condyloma or warts can be excised, treated with acid, or treated with a cream that is applied by the patient in order to boost the immune system and fight off the virus, she says.