Can you get pregnant from anal sex? The short answer is no, not technically., although it is possible, but rare.
Article reviewed and approved by embryology expert Navya Muralidhar
Getting pregnant requires semen to enter the vagina, travel through the cervix and womb to the fallopian tube, and fertilize an egg.
And none of this should happen if you have anal sex.
But there is a very remote possibility that, given how close the anus and the vagina are, some semen might get into the vaginal canal if you have unprotected anal sex.
If this happens, and you’re ovulating at the time, it’s possible — unlikely, but possible — that you’ll get pregnant.
We’ll take you through the details.
In this article: 📝
- Can you get pregnant from anal sex?
- What happens if sperm is released in the anus?
- Is anal sex safe?
- Anal sex and pregnancy: the bottom line
Can you get pregnant from anal sex?
To get pregnant from anal sex, a couple of different factors have to come into play at once:
- Semen needs to enter the vaginal canal
- You need to be ovulating at the same time, which happens for a few days once a month
If semen spills into your vagina or you or your partner touches your vagina with semen on your hands, there is the slightest chance you might get pregnant.
But even then, all of this would have to happen while you’re in your fertile window.
So the chances really are minimal to zero.
What happens if sperm is released in the anus?
If sperm is released inside the anus, it won’t lead to pregnancy.
There are no internal links between the anus and your reproductive organs.
They’re totally separate.
But there are some other things to be aware of when it comes to anal sex.
Is anal sex safe?
While pregnancy isn’t super likely if you have anal sex, unfortunately, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are quite a big concern.
The chances of picking up an STD are higher if you have anal sex than vaginal sex.
This is because the lining of the rectum is quite delicate.
It’s thin and dry and is prone to tearing easily, increasing the risk of getting an infection.
And because STDs don’t always have obvious symptoms, it can be hard to know if you have one.
Even if you or your partner don’t have an STD, the presence of feces can be enough to cause a urinary tract infection.
That’s why it’s a good idea to use a condom if you have anal sex and combine it with lots of water-based lubricants.
The rectum doesn’t produce the same natural moisture that the vagina does, so it needs extra lubrication for sex to feel pleasurable.
Finally, it’s important to talk about consent.
A 2018 study suggests that more people in the US are having heterosexual anal sex than they did in the past.
And there are a few possible reasons for this.
It might be related to stigmas around anal sex being debunked and people feeling more comfortable expressing themselves sexually.
But it could also point to increased pressure to use anal sex as a pregnancy prevention method.
Not everyone is comfortable having anal sex, and it’s okay if it’s something you don’t want to do or do all the time.
Sex should always be pleasurable and consensual for everyone involved.
If you’re feeling obliged to have anal sex to prevent pregnancy, speak to your partner.
If that’s too difficult, start by talking with a friend, family member, or counselor.
And if you feel unsafe, you can call an organization like RAINN, which deals with sexual violence.
Anal sex and pregnancy: the bottom line
If anal sex is part of your life, it’s good to get regularly tested for STDs.
Use a condom to prevent the small risk of pregnancy and the higher risk of STDs.
What matters most is that you always feel safe and comfortable.
If you need some support along the way, your Peanut community is here to help.