Ask the Doc :: Cleaning Out
Dear Dr. Jason,
When I have sex, I like to douche/enema before. What are the risks involved with this? Oh by the way I'm a bottom.
Doctor Jason's Response:
It is wise (and generous) of you to have a clean environment before anal activity, but how you go about doing it is important. Certain commercially-available enemas can be quite caustic, especially if used frequently. Repeated use of a chemically-based enema can cause irritation and inflammation of the rectal mucosa, thereby potentially increasing your risk of acquiring sexually-transmitted infections, including HIV. Using a warm water or saline enema would be more ideal than a chemical solution, if being used on a routine basis.
If you are HIV-infected, or have any other immunocompromised health condition, then repeated enemas are not recommended as they can increase your risk of developing infections. Whatever you do use for the enema--a plastic enema bottle, a shower nozzle attachment, garden hose--it should be used only by you and thoroughly cleaned after each use if it will be used again. This will decrease the risk of infection.
This story is part of our special report titled "Ask the Doc." Want to read more? Here's the full list.
The content provided on this website is for informational purposes only and is not professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or care, nor is it intended to be a substitute. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider properly licensed to practice medicine or general health care in your jurisdiction concerning any questions you may have regarding any content obtained from this website and any medical condition you believe may be relevant to you or to someone else. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. Content obtained from the website is not exhaustive and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions or their treatment.