Hands pressing down on a naked back
Home/Cycle Matters / Sex & Pleasure

Can you get Pregnant from Anal Sex?

While you can’t get pregnant from anal sex directly, it’s a little more complicated than that. In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at what anal sex is, how to do it safely, and the risks of pregnancy around anal sex. Read on to find out more...

What is anal sex?

Anal sex is any sexual activity that involves the anus. It's not just penetration by the penis, in fact, there are lots of toys tailored to anal pleasure, and lots of ways to explore this type of sex from oral action to using fingers and touch.

Anal sex and pregnancy

If you’re wondering ‘can you get pregnant from anal sex?’ The answer is no. Anal sex on its own cannot cause pregnancy. However, if vaginal penetration happens and there are sperm cells on fingers, toys, or the penis itself, then pregnancy is possible. 

Having anal sex and then vaginal sex straight after is only advised if the penis, fingers, or toys are washed or the condom is changed in between. This is because the transfer of bacteria from the anus to the vagina can cause infection. If you do forget to change condoms or wash, keep an eye out for any discharge or discomfort, and contact your healthcare professional if you are worried. 

Preparing for anal sex

How you choose to prepare for anal sex is up to you and your partner. Some people recommend douching. This is when you gently pump liquid into the anus to flush out residue and to make sure the anus is clean. It's totally up to you if you douche, but it’s not strictly necessary. 

There are a couple of things to keep in mind about preparing for anal sex in this way. For one, douching is all about timing, and depending on when it’s done, it may or may not make a difference. Another thing to keep in mind is that a healthy diet and lifestyle can also completely remove the need for douching. 

While we’re on the subject of douching, we just want to point out that you should never douche the vagina. This is because the vagina is self-cleaning and choosing to use soap or douching can upset vaginal pH and cause irritation and infections such as vaginitis

How do I have anal sex safely?

Most people who try anal penetration will experience discomfort and pain, especially in the beginning. The anus is rich in nerves making it a source of pleasure, but equally it can be a potential source of pain if you’re not gentle.

The use of lubricants is essential, and lots more lube is usually needed compared to vaginal penetration, as the vagina is naturally lubricated. Taking your time is also important. Whether you’re doing this alone or with a partner, being patient and slowly building up the amount of penetration is crucial. 

Remember not to push your limits. As with all sex, feeling relaxed and comfortable often makes for a more pleasurable experience. There is no right or wrong approach - if you decide to try something new, remember to be kind to yourself.

There are lots of products and drugs out there that claim to help with anal sex by numbing or relaxing, but use these with caution. Pain and discomfort can be your body’s natural way of saying ‘this isn’t right for me right now’ so try and listen to what you’re feeling and remove any pressure.

Communication around sex is very important, so remember to tell your partner what does and doesn’t feel good, and remember it’s OK to ask them to stop at any time. Having sex you don’t enjoy can cause pain during sex, and can impact our relationship with sex in the long run.

Sexually transmitted infections are also easily past on through anal sex, as the wall of the anus is thin. Using condoms is useful, both for keeping things clean, and for protecting from STIs at the same time.

Anal sex is still sex!

While we often think of penetrative vaginal sex as being ‘real’ sex, there are many types of sex and they are not assigned to sexuality or gender. Anal sex is popular among all genders, sexualities and identities and should be celebrated as one of the many types of sex! So let’s lose the stigma around it and appreciate what makes us feel good.

Preventing pregnancy with Natural Cycles

Thanks for reading ‘Can you get Pregnant from Anal Sex’! Here at Natural Cycles, we’re passionate about closing the knowledge gap when it comes to reproductive health one topic at a time. 

Natural Cycles is a certified medical device that can be used to prevent pregnancy by finding your fertile window. You can then either choose to abstain from sex or use condoms on days when pregnancy is possible. 

A popular feature of the Natural Cycles app is our trackers, as well as logging how you feel throughout your cycle you can also now track different types of sex, including oral, anal and masturbation! Learn more about how Natural Cycles works today!

Take our quiz to see if Natural Cycles is for you


30k App Store ratings

Did you enjoy reading this article?

Jack in a suit and tie holding a microphone and giving a presentation.

Written By

Jack Pearson

Dr. Jack Pearson is Natural Cycles’ in-house medical expert. With 10+ years of experience working in the field of fertility, he dedicates the majority of his time to conducting groundbreaking research within the field of women's health.

Featured Posts

Birth Control

A Birth Control App, not a Period Tracker

4 min read

Birth Control

12 Non-Hormonal Birth Control Methods and How They Work

13 min read

Birth Control

Switching Birth Control Methods: How Do I Change?

9 min read

Want to learn more about a hormone-free future?

Subscribe to our newsletter for access to our latest articles, exclusive promotions and more.

Keep reading...

Sex & Pleasure

The Low Sex Drive Guide

While it’s not often talked about, having a lower sex drive is actually pretty common and in many cases, it’s perfectly healthy! We’ve put together this quick guide to answer some common questions about low sex drive. Read on to find out some causes of low sex drive, tips for getting pregnant with low sex drive, and more…

7 min read

Sex & Pleasure

5 Ways to Have Sex Without Penetration

If you’re looking for some ways to mix things up between the sheets then look no further than these five ways to have sex without penetration. Non-penetrative sex has many benefits including prioritizing pleasure and helping us get to know our bodies better, plus abstaining from intercourse is a helpful option on fertile days for those of us who are preventing pregnancy naturally…

5 min read

Sex & Pleasure

What is Consent, and Why is it Important?

We’ve been talking more and more about sexual consent in recent years, but why is this topic so important, and what exactly is consent? In this article, we’re going to cover just that! We’ll also touch on different types of consent, and how setting boundaries can benefit you and your relationship. Read on to find out more...

6 min read