A new study says rectal douching as a preparation for anal sex may put gay men at higher risk to contract HIV and other STDs like hepatitis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea because the mucus lining in the rectum, which is there to protect against infection, may be injured by doing so.
The study’s authors, who examined 24 earlier studies over the past four decades with more than 20K participants, published their findings in the British Medical Journal: “Rectal douching was associated with increased odds of infection with HIV and any STI other than HIV (including hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and human papillomavirus among MSM. These associations remained significant in studies that adjusted for potential confounders.”
GSN adds: ‘As well as potential damage caused by flushing out the rectum, they say improper use of douching tools can also sometimes cause damage to the rectum or anus. However, the authors go on to discuss other contributory reasons for the potential link. They say men who douche were more likely to report a higher number of sexual partners and engage in group sex. However, based on their research, this alone fails to account for the higher incidence of STIs, which they conclude is linked to the actual practice of douching.’