Can removing your pubic hair increase the risk of STIs? BBC News has reported that, “Women and men who regularly trim or remove all their pubic hair run a greater risk of sexually transmitted infections.” For the millions of people out there thinking ‘Oh crap’ read on:
We were under the impression that everyone shaved/waxed their pubic hair! What does this mean for the sexual health of humankind? We delved into the nitty gritty of this report to bring you the facts.
A survey of approximately 7,500 Americans aged between 18-65 found that those who groomed their gardens had a higher rate of sexually transmitted infections. These findings do not stand up as definitive proof that removing pubic hair results in an STI.
For all those who favour a groomed lady region, this survey has a huge flaw in that the researchers did not bother to ask the participants about whether they practice safe sex!
On the downside, although based on speculation, the study suggests that grooming might lead to micro tears that could then lead to being susceptible to contracting certain STIs (the ones that are spread from skin-to-skin contact like HPV).
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of California and the University of Texas. Once the results were ascertained it was published and available for the general public to view online. From here, the findings were vastly reported to the media, regardless of the lack of direct evidence.
The survey looked at hair grooming methods, grooming injuries, sexual behaviour and STI history. The STIs were categorized as:
1.Cutaneous infections (spread from skin to skin such as HPV, HSV, syphilis and molluscum contagious).
2.Secretory infections (from bodily fluids such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV.
The most obvious threat, pubic lice, were studied separately.
Of the 7,580 participants, 74% said they groomed their pubic hair.
13% of participants reported STIs, and almost twice as many groomers reported histories of STIs than those who refrained from grooming their private regions. However, there were no differences between people who shaved frequently to ones who epilated occasionally.
What the study revealed is that although grooming your pubic hair was linked to STIs in both men and women, it could not conclude with any definitive proof that this was the cause of the STIs..
So, ladies and gents, the advice is to not worry too much – but always try to avoid shaving cuts, and always practice safe sex.