Study: Pubic Hair Grooming Increases Your Likelihood Of Contracting An STI

December 6, 2016  |  

woman in bikini, crotch, shaving

As nice as it can feel to be all bare down there, the process of getting that way (and the aftermath, aka, when that hair grows back) feels pretty terrible. Still, many of us prefer to do what we have to do to keep our pubic hair to a minimum, and if not, at least tidy. But a new study says that women and men who remove their pubic hair could be at a higher risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection.

The study, done by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, tracked 7,580 adults between the ages of 18 and 65 in the United States. The plan was to see if there was a connection between their grooming practices, their sexual activity, and their history of STIs. The results, published online in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections on December 5, found 14 percent of those who groomed consistently had reported a history of STIs. Non-groomers were at eight percent. Those who were “extreme groomers,” otherwise known as individuals who removed all of their pubic hair and did so more than 11 times during the year, were even more likely to have had an STI, coming in at 18 percent.

Researchers believe that the small tears that can come with shaving and trimming your pubic hair can lead to an STI. But they also pointed out that those who groomed regularly were having more sex than those who didn’t seem as preoccupied with keeping things bare or low down below. “Extreme groomers” were said to have reported a larger number of annual and total lifetime sexual partners. Those who groomed often were also younger than those who didn’t bother to. And those who were “extreme groomers” as well as “high-frequency groomers,” or daily/weekly trimmers, were more likely to be younger and women.

One big perk to all this shaving that was reported was that it helps keep lice at bay. Disgusting to think about, we know…

In the end, 84 percent of the women studied said they have a history of waxing, shaving or trimming their pubic hair, while 66 percent of the men said they’d done the same. It was found that 17 percent of the people studied said they were extreme groomers. Twenty-two percent said they were high-frequency.

Maybe this would be a good time to cut down on excessive shaving — unless you’re just dead serious about avoiding lice. In that case, we can’t blame you.


Image via Shutterstock 

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