Updated: APRIL 20, 2022
Reviewed by Kinkly Staff
on April 19, 2022

Perianal is a medical term describing the area around the anus. The term perianal overlaps in meaning with perineal, a term that describes the area between the anus and the scrotum or vulva. That’s because the rear part of the perineal area is also considered a perianal area. There is also some overlap between perianal and the term perirectal, which describes the area around the rectum. For example, perirectal skin could also be called perianal skin. However, perianal is more medically precise than perirectal.

The term perianal typically isn't used in a sexual context unless it pertains to a sexual problem, such as lesions in the perianal area caused by sexually transmitted infections.

More About Perianal

The perianal area is very sensitive as it contains many nerve endings. This is what makes perianal stimulation, with fingers, anal toys and anal sex, feel so good.

However, the perianal area is also vulnerable to injury, so it should be treated with care. Rough sex play and even excessive straining when using the toilet can cause tearing. If tearing occurs, it’s best to wait for the tears to heal before resuming anal play.

Several diseases and other medical complaints can also impact the perianal area. These include hemorrhoids, abscesses, fistulas and Crohn’s disease. You should see a doctor if you experience any kind of pain, itching, or swelling in the perianal area. Your doctor will give you a physical exam, which may include a rectal exam, before making a diagnosis. Seeing a doctor early should make treating the problem easier.


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