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Chronic rectal pain risk trebled for women having anal sex

Chronic rectal pain risk trebled for women having anal sex

Wednesday 2 April 2014

Women engaging in anal sex are nearly three times more likely to experience ongoing rectal pain, more than twice as likely to suffer rectal discharge and six times more likely to have a past history of sexually transmitted infection than women with no history of anal sex.

The research, presented at the joint British HIV Association (BHIVA) - British Association for Sexual Health & HIV (BASHH) conference in Liverpool (1 – 4 April) is the UK's first study of sexual behaviour among people attending a gastroenterology outpatient clinic. Many sexually transmitted infections mimic the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and doctors at the clinic undertook the research in order to find out more about the links between sexual behaviour and rectal symptoms.

Dr Sarah Allstaff from University of Dundee Medical School, who undertook the research, commented: "As sexual practices expand throughout the population, heterosexual anal sex is increasingly common. It is important that we understand how sexual behaviour links to all aspects of our health and well being, and our research highlights the need to take note of sexual histories for anyone attending gastroenterology services with rectal symptoms so that sexually transmitted infections may be considered as part of the diagnosis."

The third annual joint BHIVA - BASHH conference is the UK's leading HIV, AIDS & Sexual Health scientific meeting. Journalists wishing to attend are requested to contact Jon Cope or Stuart Mayell at Curium Communications.

Meeting location
Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool
Kings Dock, Liverpool Waterfront, Liverpool, Merseyside, L3 4FP. Tel: 0151 475 8888

BHIVA is the leading UK professional association representing professionals in HIV care. Founded in 1995, it is a well-established and highly respected organisation with national influence committed to providing excellence in the care of those living with and affected by HIV. BHIVA acts as a national advisory body to professions and other organisations on all aspects of HIV care. BHIVA also provides a national platform for HIV care and is represented on international, national and local committees dealing with HIV care. In addition, BHIVA works to promote undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing medical education within HIV care. Visit for more information about BHIVA, and follow us on Twitter @BritishHIVAssoc

The British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) is the lead professional representative body for those managing STIs and HIV in the UK. It seeks to innovate and deliver excellent tailored education and training to healthcare professionals, trainers and trainees in the UK, and to determine, monitor and maintain standards in provision of sexual health and HIV care.