By Lead writer: Nick Burns
February 29, 2016

The risks: herpes (genital or oral), parasites, hepatitis A, syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea

Analingus (also known as rimming) is risky for transmission of sexually transmitted diseases and—because of the presence of stool—for gastrointestinal illnesses as well.

While infections on the skin such as herpes and syphilis can pass between partners during analingus, the person performing oral sex is also vulnerable to parasites, hepatitis A, and other gastrointestinal illnesses, reports Jeanne Marrazzo, MD, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Washington in Seattle.

More about STD risks

Gonorrhea and chlamydia don't transmit easily between partners during analingus, but it is possible.

How to reduce risk
Using barrier methods such as dental dams, plastic wrap, or cut condoms can greatly reduce the risk of infections. "One should also consider a hepatitis A vaccination to prevent infection," says Dr. Marrazzo.

Also ensure that your mouth is in good health. Avoid oral sex of any kind if you have cuts, bleeding gums, or open sores in or around the mouth, which can greatly increase your risk of catching a sexually transmitted disease.