Those that engage in frequent pubic hair grooming may have an increased risk for an STI, reports BBC.
All it takes is a small tear in the skin from trimming, shaving, or waxing to develop an infection. Men and women are both at risk if they regularly trim or remove their pubic hair for a sexually transmitted infection (STI) than those who do not groom as frequently or ever.
Groomers also tend to be more sexually active; therefore, scientists pointed out this may be partially to blame for the increased risk in STIs among those individuals.
It is not just trimming and shaving though. Researchers found that those who receive a Brazilian bikini wax and other forms of waxing are also at risk. They could contract STIs like human papillomavirus (HPV), syphilis, and herpes, says CBS News.
Where the Research is Coming From
Research published in the journal of Sexually Transmitted Infections, stated that Americans and their grooming habits were assessed to determine the likelihood of an STI. They examined more than 7500 people in the survey, and found that a large majority of Americans like to groom down there, says Time.
Also, they found that 66 percent of men and 84 percent of women groom before by shaving, trimming, laser hair removal, and waxing.
The study also found that men were more prone to using an electric razor for their grooming, while women used manual razors to groom their hairs.
It was not the sharing of tools that was the issue, because they did not trace STI transmission to those tools. Instead, they noticed that groomers who had sex immediately after were more at risk. Therefore, they do recommend that groomers hold off on sexual activity until any scrapes or cuts heal.
The population of survey takers that groomed were younger and more sexually active than the older generation. Also, they had more sexual partners than those that did not groom. They were more likely to report an STI, including HIV. After researchers adjusted the data to reflect the associations, such as sexual partners and a person’s age, they noticed the link still remained.
Those that groomed were still at higher risk for an STI. In fact, those that groom daily or weekly are 3.5 to 4 times more likely to develop an STI in their lifetime.
These results do not mean shaving, waxing, or laser hair removal automatically results in an STI. Instead, it just means there is a cause and effect. The grooming is what then leads to a potential infection.
A person still must meet someone that has an STI through a sexual encounter to contract it. However, with an open sore from grooming, they are more likely to contract an STI than someone that does not groom and have open sores.
Obviously, more research is needed before physicians could say for certain that grooming is a high-risk category for developing an STI.